Today is International Women’s Day and as in years’ past there are many events around the world to mark the occasion. But this year is different because one of the major events is the “A Day Without Women” strike. Women around the world are expressing solidarity by staying away from work for a day and instead holding gatherings to discuss ways to defend hard won progress toward equality.
This strike jives nicely with UN Women’s theme for the day, which focuses on women’s role in the workforce — both paid and unpaid. From UN Women.
The world of work is changing, and with significant implications for women. On one hand, we have globalization, technological and digital revolution and the opportunities they bring, and on the other hand, the growing informality of labour, unstable livelihoods and incomes, new fiscal and trade policies and environmental impacts—all of which must be addressed in the context of women’s economic empowerment.
In 2015, world leaders adopted the Sustainable Development Goals, placing gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls at the heart of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Achievement of the goals, including ending poverty, promoting inclusive and sustainable economic growth, reducing inequalities within and between countries, and achieving gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls, rests upon unlocking the full potential of women in the world of work.
Measures that are key to ensuring women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work must include bridging the gender pay gap, which stands at 24 per cent globally; recognizing women’s unpaid care and domestic work and addressing the gender deficit in care work; as well as addressing the gender gaps in leadership, entrepreneurship and access to social protection; and ensuring gender-responsive economic policies for job creation, poverty reduction and sustainable, inclusive growth.
But that is just the paid workforce. This video from UN Women shows the economic value of unpaid work as well–and the consequences of excluding that work from measuring a country’s true wealth.