Health Watch
International Women’s Day 2016 -
"We are women and are here to empower the world by strengthening lives and promoting growth." This women's day marks the need to end gender discrimination by raising awareness, developing skills and changing attitudes.

Worldwide, women continue to contribute to social, economic, cultural and political achievement, and we have much to celebrate on this International Women's Day.

The United Nations observes March 8th as the "International Women's Day" and is being celebrated every year since 1977. The theme for this year's International Women's Day is Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality.

"Step It Up" asks governments to make national commitments that will close the gender equality gap - from laws and policies to national action plans and adequate investment.

International Women's Day Celebration in India

In India, International Women's Day is celebrated by the people with great zeal and passion to increase the awareness about women's rights. This event plays an important role in getting the real message of women's right to the society. It promotes better living conditions for women by finding ways to deal with their social issues.

Gender Equality

Gender equality is among the list of 17 Global Goals that make up the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The United Nation framed the 'Millennium Project' to achieve the Millennium Developmental Goals (MDGs) with a deadline of 2015. The goals include:
Gender Parity was one of the goals and so far the achievements are as follows:

UN data shows that two-thirds of countries have achieved gender parity in primary education around the world. Also, the proportion of paid jobs and parliamentary seats continue to increase substantially in many developing and under developing countries. The average percentage of women in parliament rose from 11 percent in 1995 to 22 percent in January 2015 globally.

In 2015, one of the major developments in gender parity noticed was the 'Historic Election in Saudi Arabia' where women voted for the first time. In 2014, Malala Youzifsai won the Nobel Peace Prize for Children's Right to Education. She became a symbol of courage for girls to stand up for their educational rights.

But still, many women are facing poverty, malnutrition, maternal mortality, poor healthcare facilities, violence, illiteracy and unemployment. Globally, 1 in 3 girls suffer physical or sexual abuse. 143 countries guaranteed equal parliamentary seats, but 52 still have not taken a step and still millions of women face female genital mutilation in the African and the Middle Eastern countries.

Therefore, this women's day is primarily focused on gender parity to raise awareness and bring substantial changes in the attitudes and behavior among people in today's world.

The theme "Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality."

The idea of this theme is to accelerate the 2030 Agenda, building momentum for effective implementation of the new Sustainable Development Goals.

Its key target areas are:
  • To educate all girls and boys with quality primary and secondary education by 2030
  • To have access to quality early childhood development, care and preprimary education for all children by 2030
  • To end all forms of discrimination against women and girls
  • To eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls, including trafficking and sexual exploitation
  • To combat child marriage and female genital mutilation
"Let us devote solid funding, courageous advocacy and unbending political will to achieving gender equality around the world. There is no greater investment in our common future". - UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon

Help Achieve Gender Parity

Women and girls comprise more than half of the global population. They contribute to the society, every day in many visible and invisible ways as teachers, farmers, businesswomen, politicians, mothers, law enforcers among others. It's time to take initiative to give them equal rights and stop violence against women. Women's growth is vital in enriching economic, social and political achievements. Therefore, every man and woman need to pledge to take a firm step to help achieve gender parity. Each of us can be a leader within our own spheres of influence and commit to take pragmatic action to accelerate gender parity. Globally, with individuals pledging to move from talk to purposeful action, we can collectively help women advance equal to their numbers and realize the limitless potential they offer economies the world over.

The Global Gender Gap Report 2015 estimates that it will take until 117 years to achieve global gender parity in the workplace. Should we wait so long to empower women?

No, just by recognizing women in your society, workplace and at home can help achieve gender parity much sooner than estimated. It's not only women, but also men must come forward to help in the advancement of women in every aspect. Pledge to end gender discrimination by taking these simple steps:
  • Appreciate your mother, wife, daughter, sister, cousins, friends for their timely care and support
  • Recognize female workers in your company and give them a chance to upgrade themselves
  • Offer leadership roles to women and delve in your firm's growth
  • Protect every women in the community, no matter they are related or not
  • Fight and raise voice against violence on women
  • End gender determination and female genital mutilation
  • Eradicate bias on women by building supportive environments
  • Educate girls and offer equal opportunities at educational institutions
  • Improve maternal care centers with quality diagnosis and treatment facilities
  • Raise awareness about sexually-transmitted diseases to halt their spread
  • Increase proportion of parliamentary seats for women
The pathway to achieve gender parity is within us. Happy Women's Day!

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Source: Medindia

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