International Women’s Day on March 8 is a chance to reflect on long-standing inequalities between women and men and also an opportunity to call attention to the fact that empowering women is one of the most beneficial ways for a country to achieve peace and prosperity.
Former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said gender equality is more than just a goal: “It is a precondition for meeting the challenge of reducing poverty, promoting sustainable development and building good governance.”
The World Economic Forum estimates that at the rate of progress it’s measured in the last 10 years, economic parity for women will not be achieved in sub-Saharan Africa for another 79 years. We can do much better, as this video produced by the State Department’s Office of Global Women’s Issues shows.
The video not only highlights the continued areas of inequality across economic, political and social lines, but also shows how women’s empowerment will make a better world for everyone. For example, if women played identical roles to men in labor markets, the global GDP could rise by up to $28 trillion by 2025.
The film concludes: “When women do better we all do better. It’s just that simple.” What will you do to help empower women and girls to become leaders? Be sure to check out the YALI Network’s online courses, follow the hashtag #Africa4Her to get some ideas, and learn more at https://yali.state.gov/4her/.