This event is a celebration of young women activists across the globe, who defy the growing challenges in times of the pandemic and step up their efforts to shape societies that are more equitable, just and sustainable. What motivates young women activists? What are the challenges they are facing with the current health crisis? What has changed for them? And what would be their recommendations for young women activists who would want to follow their paths?
COVID-19 has exposed the structural and systemic discrimination that women and girls have long faced. Worse, it has deepened them further. Women and girls are not equally represented in local, national and global policy spaces despite the critical need for their voices, expertise and shared experience. According to UN Women, the pandemic is threatening to reverse generations of progress. For example, projections show that the increasing number of women and girls in poverty will not revert to pre-pandemic levels until 2030.
The health crisis gives us an opportunity to build back better. This year’s theme of IWD ‘Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world’ recognizes the tremendous efforts by women and girls around the world in shaping a more equal future and recovery from the pandemic. This spirit will be carried through to the upcoming #GenerationEquality Forum in March and June 2021, which will celebrate the power of activism, feminist solidarity and youth leadership to achieve transformative change.
Civil society and activists’ movements lead the drive to name and tackle the intersecting forms of discrimination and inequalities that have grown under COVID-19, and to center recovery on women. Today we celebrate their actions!