IWD2021

What is the International Women’s Day 2021 theme?

The theme for International Women’s Day, 8 March 2021 is, "Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a covid-19 world."

What is the International Women’s Day 2021 theme?
EDUARDO MUNOZ ALVAREZ AFP

International Women’s Day has been observed for over a century since it began back in 1911. The day recognizes the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women globally, and it's a call to action for gender parity.

This year's theme for International Women’s Day celebrates the wonderful efforts by women and girls across the world in shaping a more equal future and recovery from the devastating covid-19 pandemic.

It is also aligned with the priority theme of the 65th session of the Commission on the Status of Women, “Women's full and effective participation and decision-making in public life, as well as the elimination of violence, for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls”, and the flagship Generation Equality campaign, which calls for women’s right to decision-making in all areas of life, equal pay, equal sharing of unpaid care and domestic work, an end all forms of violence against women and girls, and health-care services that respond to their needs.

In past years, International Women's Day was celebrated with festivals, marathons and other events across the world. But with the covid-19 pandemic, most events will be virtual. They range from a Zoom painting event in Sydney to an online marathon in Singapore.

Women stand at the front lines of the covid-19 crisis, as health care workers, caregivers, innovators, community organizers and as some of the most exemplary and effective national leaders in combating the pandemic. 

Women at front of pandemic

Women leaders and women’s organisations have demonstrated their knowledge, skills and networks to effectively lead in covid-19 response and recovery efforts. Today there is more acceptance than ever before that women bring different experiences, perspectives and skills to the table, and make irreplaceable contributions to decisions, policies and laws that work better for all.

Majority of the countries that have been more successful in stemming the tide of the covid-19 pandemic and responding to its health and broader socio-economic impacts, are headed by women. For example, the heads of Government in Denmark, Ethiopia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, New Zealand and Slovakia have been widely recognized for the rapidity, decisiveness and effectiveness of their national response to covid-19, as well as the compassionate communication of fact-based public health information. Yet, women are Heads of State and Government in only 20 countries worldwide.

Inadequate representation

Despite women making up a majority of front-line workers, there is disproportionate and inadequate representation of women in national and global covid-19 policy spaces.

In addition to persistent pre-existing social and systemic barriers to women’s participation and leadership, new barriers have emerged with the covid-19 pandemic. Across the world women are facing increased domestic violence, unpaid care duties, unemployment and poverty. 

How to participate in International Women's Day on social media

Organisers are asking supporters to "strike the Choose To Challenge pose and share on social media using #ChooseToChallenge #IWD2021."

The pose is simply raising your hand high to "show your commitment to choose to challenge inequality, call out bias, question stereotypes, and help forge an inclusive world".