International Women’s Day is a global celebration of all women, everywhere. It is a rallying call; both for reflection on lessons learned and for accelerating momentum towards gender equality and the empowerment of every girl and woman.
It is a day to rejoice in the extraordinary acts of women and to stand together, as a united force to advance gender equality around the world.
Equality also lies in ridding the media and collective imagination of prejudice by highlighting the women scientists, artists and politicians who are moving humanity forward in all fields.
Message of Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, for International Women's Day 2017
A bit of history: International Women’s Day, back to 1975
Since its inception, International Women’s Day has grown into a global celebration of past and present accomplishments of women, and as an opportunity to look ahead to the untapped potential and opportunities for future generations of women.
In 1945, the Charter of the United Nations became the first international agreement to affirm the principal of equality between women and men. With that belief in mind, the UN celebrated its first official International Women's Day in 1975, 42 years ago.
This year, the UN theme for International Women's Day is "Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality”. Despite the enormous progress since 1975, women are still underrepresented in too many sectors of society, undermining progress and sustainable development. It constrains creativity and talent and suffocates inclusion and pluralism. This does not just harm women – it weakens the very fabric of societies.
For the celebration of International Women’s Day 2017, UNESCO will focus on Women and Art, showcasing the work of young women artists and discussing the way forward.
To know more about IWD, click here.
Events in Paris
- Experts' meeting: UNESCO Chairs in the field of Women's Empowerment
- Debate: The Courage to Create: Gender Equality and the Arts
- Concert: Louane & Her
- Art Exhibition: 2017 Edition on the occasion of International Women's Day
Events in the field
- UNESCO around the world: Virtual Conference on Women in Oceanography
- UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning: Planting seeds of the empowerment of women
- UNESCO Office in Santiago: Women's rights through Jazz music
- UNESCO Office in Khartoum: Empowering Women in Sudanese Media
- UNESCO Office in Brasilia: Social Media Campaign - Twitter and Facebook
- UNESCO Office in Dar es Salaam: Social Media Campaign - Twitter and Facebook
- UNESCO Office in Amman: Workshops on the work of the Ghor el Safi Women’s Association
- UNESCO Office in Doha: Women make the news in Doha
DID YOU KNOW?
By 2016, fewer than half of the countries in the world had achieved the goal of gender parity in both primary and secondary education (UNESCO)
35% of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual violence in their lives (UN, 2015)
Nearly two thirds of illiterate people are women, a proportion that has remained unchanged for two decades (UN, 2015)
Women make up only 23.3% of Parliamentarians worldwide (IPU, 2017)
Women account for two thirds of the world's poorest citizens (UNESCO, 2014)
Women are underrepresented in scientific and technological disciplines. Only 29% of the world’s researchers are women (UNESCO, 2014)
Spread the word!
Use the Hashtag #IWD2017 and #WomensDay to share your thoughts on International Women's Day.