Wednesday, March 8, was celebrated around the world as International Women’s Day. The United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, chose to observe the day by highlighting the contribution of women in the fight to end the Coronavirus pandemic that changed the world.
For him, their ideas, innovations and activism are changing the world for the better. The UN scribe recalled that the pandemic kept girls and women out of schools and workplaces, exposing them to rising poverty and violence even as they do the vast majority of the world’s unpaid, but essential care work. Still, they are made targets of violence and abuse, just because of their gender even as they bear the brunt of climate change and environmental degradation.
He further expressed his concern that in all countries, women are scandalously under-represented in the halls of power and the boardrooms of business. He, therefore, nudged the conscience of the world to see the urgent need to turn the clock forward for every woman and girl.
The way forward, as he perceives it, includes guaranteeing quality education for every girl, so that they can build the lives they want and help make the world a better place for us all; deploy massive investments in women’s training and decent work; take effective action to end gender-based violence; engage, boldly, actions to protect the planet through universal care that is fully integrated into social protection systems.
Even more importantly, in the words of the former Portuguese Prime Minister (1995 to 2002), the world should employ targeted measures like gender quotas so as to benefit from women’s ideas, experience and leadership everywhere decisions are made.
The United Nations began celebrating International Women’s Day in 1975, which had been proclaimed the International Women’s Year.
In 1977, the United Nations General Assembly, invited member states to proclaim March 8, as an official UN holiday for women’s rights and world peace.
It has since been commemorated annually by the UN and much of the world, with each year’s observance centered on a particular theme or issue within women’s rights.
As women across the world, celebrate this year’s International Women’s Day, their counterparts in Ghana, have little to celebrate as they have been kept in the back burner of decision making.
Even as a nation, the Day is seen as any other day, as no particular attention is paid to it. We don’t celebrate the achievements of women; engage in motivational talks and networking opportunities to expand the frontiers of women.
It is our considered opinion that, we give women their right of place and celebrate them as we should, because they deserve better and more.