By Fanny Shum Chan
Every year on March 8, the United Nations and the world celebrates International Women’s Day, this day is considered as an opportunity to look at the potential of future generations of women, so the central theme of this year was “Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030.” The aim is to reflect that, despite enormous progress since 1975, women are still underrepresented in various sectors of society.
In turn this inequality limits their creativity and talent, stifles inclusion and pluralism, a situation that not only harms women but weakens society. Regarding the election of the theme for this year, the United Nations stated that one of the main reasons is that the world of work is in transformation, with significant implications for women. While globalization, the digital and technological revolution create new opportunities; increasing informality at work, instability in income sources, new fiscal and trade policies, and environmental impact play a decisive role in the economic empowerment of women. According to the UN, 50 percent of women of working age are represented in the global workforce, compared to 76 percent of men. It also notes that an overwhelming majority of women work in the informal economy, subsidizing care and domestic work. The focus on low-paid, low-skilled jobs for little or no social protection.
This day is not only to commemorate women, but also to bring equality to men because at the workplace men do not receive paid parental leave and women do not have enough weeks to spend with their newborn baby. According to UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Anne Hathaway, she mentioned the benefits of paid parental leave, such as creating positive cycles of behavior, boosting productivity and morale. So, it is important to include men in paid parental leave to create a harmonious society.
Therefore, on International Women’s Day aims to raise awareness of people to achieve gender equality at work, which is indispensable for sustainable development.