UN Women to zoom in on public services, income security, safe spaces and technology to advance progress for women and girls
In celebration of International Women’s Day on 8 March, the UN Women is celebrating its 2019 theme of ‘Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change’, according to a statement released this week.
Immediately following International Women’s Day is the 63rd session of the Commission on the Status of Women, being held 11-12 March in New York, focusing its priority theme on, social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women in the statementsaid, “When we approach planning with an innovative, ‘think equal’ mindset that takes the needs of women and girls into account right from inception, it is remarkable how different those plans can look, whether it is urban planning that designs for commuter safety, rural daycare centres that offer workers positive solutions for childcare, or the use of biometrics as ID to replace formal registration documents that many women may not have or control.”
“We look to industry leaders, game-changing start-ups, social entrepreneurs, gender equality activists and women innovators to find the ways in which innovation can remove barriers and accelerate progress for gender equality,” she added.
She said current trajectories show existing interventions do not suffice to achieve a planet 50-50 by 2030, the Sustainable Development Goals, the UN’s road map for a sustainable future by 2030, requires trans-formative shifts, integrated approaches and new solutions.
“This is particularly true when it comes to SDG 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls,” continued Mlambo-Ngcuka
UN Women research indicates that 740 million women currently make their living in the informal economy with limited access to social protection, public services and infrastructure that could increase their productivity and income security.
Research also states that women do 2.6 times more unpaid care and domestic work than men, with only 415 of the world’s mothers with newborns receiving maternity benefits. One in three women are likely to face violence in their lifetimes, yet public services, urban planning and transport systems are rarely planned with women’s safety and mobility in mind.
Therefore, this year the UN Women will focus to bring innovation to the centre stage and leverage it for gender equality and women’s empowerment globally.