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Opinion

#BreakTheBias: 2022 International Women’s Day

PERSPECTIVE - Cherry Piquero Ballescas - The Freeman

Every March 8, International Women’s Day (IWD) is observed to “celebrate the global social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women and to call for action to advance gender equality.”

For 2022, the IWD theme is #BreaktheBias to “spotlight the individual and collective biases against women that fuel gender inequality.”

From the International Women’s Day website:

“Whether deliberate or unconscious, bias makes it difficult for women to move ahead. Knowing that bias exists isn’t enough, action is needed to level the playing field.”

This year’s call:  “Imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes and

discrimination. A world that's diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge women's equality. Collectively we can  #BreakTheBias.  Individually, we're all responsible for our own thoughts and actions - all day, every day. We can break the bias in our communities. We can break the bias in our workplaces. We can break the bias in our schools, colleges and universities. Together, we can all break the bias - on International Women's Day (IWD) and beyond.”

Together, locally/globally, let us “Celebrate women's achievement. Raise awareness against bias. Take action for equality.”

Last year, 2021, the IWD theme centered on “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow.”

UN reported  the following 2021 data about women: Seventy per cent of the 1.3 billion people living in conditions of poverty were women. In urban areas, 40 per cent of the poorest households were headed by women. Women predominated in the world's food production (50-80 per cent), but they owned less than 10 per cent of the land.  80 per cent of the displaced by climate related disasters and changes around the world were women and girls. Climate change may lead to more gender-based violence, an increase in child marriages, and worsening sexual and reproductive health.

According to UN Women, “despite increasing evidence, there is still hesitancy in making the vital connections between gender, social equity and climate change.

At the same time, progress made towards a more gender-equal world is being obstructed?by multiple, interlocking and compounding crises, most recently, the ongoing aggression against Ukraine.

Whatever the crisis, from conflict to climate, women and girls are affected first and worst.

Without gender equality today, a sustainable future, and an equal future, remains beyond our reach.”

How far has our world heeded the call of UN Women Executive Director Sima Bahous “to put women and girls at the centre of our planning and action and to integrate gender perspectives into global and national laws and policies” and seize the opportunity to re-think, re-frame and re-allocate resources, the opportunity to benefit from the leadership of women and girls as environmental defenders and climate activists to guide our planet’s conservation?”

Did the world recognize her valuable words that while “climate change is a threat multiplier,  women, and especially young women, are solution multipliers?”

Within the Covid pandemic, fewer women were participating in the workforce “with about 113 million women aged 25–54, with partners and small children, out of the workforce in 2020.”

“Across the world, women bear a disproportionate responsibility for securing food, water and fuel, tasks that climate change makes more time-consuming and difficult.

Women and girls are taking climate and environment action at all levels, but their voice, agency, and participation are under-supported, under-resourced, under-valued and under-recognized.

Solutions must integrate a gender perspective into climate/environmental and disaster risk reduction policies/programmes; promote/protect women environmental human rights defenders; build resilience of women/girls and their organizations; strengthen prevention/ response/recovery from sexual and gender-based violence, and, improve/invest in gender specific statistics/data to amplify the relationship between gender and climate.”

From the past till now, this cry still needs repetition:

“#BreaktheBias to advance gender equality.”

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY

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