Today is the 103rd International Women’s Day, a day to both celebrate the many achievements of women and to address the myriad limitations and oppressive situations that women continue to face all over the world. The United Nations’ theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is “Equality for Women is Progress for All,” and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon dropped some knowledge in his annual message:
Countries with more gender equality have better economic growth. Companies with more women leaders perform better. Peace agreements that include women are more durable. Parliaments with more women enact more legislation on key social issues such as health, education, anti-discrimination and child support.
The evidence is clear: equality for women means progress for all.
He ended with a clear call to action that declared equal rights for women are the responsibility of all:
A baby girl born today will still face inequality and discrimination, no matter where her mother lives. We have a common obligation to ensure her right to live free from the violence that affects one in three women globally; to earn equal pay for equal work; to be free of the discrimination that prevents her from participating in the economy; to have an equal say in the decisions that affect her life; and to decide if and when she will have children, and how many she will have.
I have a message for every girl born today, and to every woman and girl on the planet: realizing human rights and equality is not a dream, it is a duty of Governments, the United Nations and every human being.
I also have a message for my fellow men and boys: play your part. All of us benefit when women and girls — your mothers, sisters, friends and colleagues — can reach their full potential.
Together, let us work for women’s rights, empowerment and gender equality as we strive to eliminate poverty and promote sustainable development. Equality for women is progress for all!
When Wonder Woman was first created, she leaped past equality and instead advocated for the superiority of women; she was created as a harbinger of what William Moulton Marston thought was an inevitable matriarchal revolution. However, with time she’s become a symbol for equality, especially when Ms. magazine made Wonder Woman a feminist icon in the early 1970s. Since then, Wonder Woman and equality have gone hand in hand:
Wonder Woman’s also become a symbol for a different kind of equality through this great, iconic image by Glen Hanson that celebrated marriage equality:
Progress towards equality for women is being made every day, but there’s still lot of work left to do. You can learn much more at the UN’s International Women’s Day website, as well as at www.internationalwomensday.com.