Recognizing Achievements of Women on IWD 2023
For another year in a row, communities of people worldwide came together to recognize the achievements of women for International Women’s Day on March 8.
Every year International Women’s Day gives the world a chance to take a pause and reflect on the progress we’ve made to create a more inclusive world.
For this reason, the 2023 theme for International Women’s Day is #EmbraceEquity.
“The aim of the IWD 2023 #EmbraceEquity campaign theme is to get the world talking about Why equal opportunities aren’t enough. People start from different places, so true inclusion and belonging require equitable action,” stated the official website for International Women’s Day.
The theme is especially poignant considering United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres’ words on Monday stating that at the current pace, gender equality is still “300 years away.”
And the winners are… WiDS Undergraduate Scholarship winner Nooria Sarhadi, WiDS graduate Scholarship winner Emma Fingler, and WiDS & @CAGlobalAffairs Fellowship winner Katherine Todd! 🎉🎉 Congrats all! #BeYouBeTrueBelong pic.twitter.com/cStGL5X4h6
— WiDS Canada (@WiDS_Canada) March 2, 2023
Military Celebrates Women
Like other communities across the world, the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) also celebrated International Women’s Day in full force.
“Today on International Women’s Day, we celebrate the incredible women within the Defence Team. Your bravery, leadership, and contributions to our country is an inspiration to us all. Let’s continue to work towards a future where we embrace equity,” tweeted Chief of the Defence Staff Gen. Wayne Eyre.
The CAF highlighted and thanked women in the service on social media platforms. Additionally, Women in Defence and Security held its Annual Awards Breakfast. The event awards various scholarships.
Defence Champion for Women, MGen. Bourgon, Acting Commander Military Personnel Command, also released a statement specifically taking the opportunity to celebrate women in defence.
“While we continue to embrace equity, fight for full equality, and address gaps within our organization, it’s also important we take the time to celebrate women’s achievements and be inspired. Within the Defence Team, women are continuously demonstrating strong leadership and paving the way for the next generation. The contributions we make to our military, our public service, and our country are proof that women are essential players in building our future,” stated Bourgon.
More than 1,800 people gathered at UNHQ in NYC on Wednesday to mark #InternationalWomensDay.
Participants shared solutions to reduce barriers that keep women & girls offline, which also means making digital technologies safer for all. https://t.co/Dcyo7yX5m0 pic.twitter.com/CqvimDxuW3
— United Nations (@UN) March 9, 2023
UN Focuses on Digital Access Gaps
For this International Women’s Day, the UN focused on the gender gaps in accessing the digital world. The matter isn’t one of just equality but also one that costs the world millions of dollars.
According to statistics cited by the UN, women’s exclusion from accessing digital technology has “shaved USD 1 trillion from the gross domestic product of low-and middle-income countries in the last decade.” Moreover, this amount is only expected to increase in the coming years.
“Women today make up under a third of the workforce in science, technology, engineering, and maths. And when women are under-represented in developing new technologies, discrimination may be baked in from the start”.
He also issued a call to close the gender digital divide, adding that “investing in women uplifts all people, communities, and countries,” stated Guterres in a message commemorating IWD.
I'm always impressed by the amazing women in the @CandianForces at every level! Their unique perspectives and achievements deserve celebration as we work to create a more inclusive environment for everyone. #IWD2023 #EmbraceEquity pic.twitter.com/iLM2WPCePi
— CPO1/PM1 Gilles Grégoire (@cafcwo_adjucfac) March 8, 2023
Canada Focuses Inward
In a statement on March 8, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also acknowledged the importance of breaking down barriers for women in Canada.
“This year’s theme, Every Woman Counts, is a reminder that all women, from all ages and walks of life, have a place in every aspect of Canadian society. With a disturbing recent rise in anti-transgender hate here in Canada, we reiterate today that trans women are women, and we will always stand up to hate whenever and wherever it occurs,” stated Trudeau.
He also touched on the importance of including women in the workforce and closing the gender wage gap. For example, thanks to Canada’s early learning and child care system, which has created a $10-a-day child care in nearly half of Canada’s provinces, it has opened the door for a record-high female participation in the workforce in Canada at 85 per cent.
“By enabling more women, especially mothers, to participate in the workforce, and by advocating for gender parity at the management level through programs like the 50 – 30 Challenge, we build better futures for everyone,” commented Trudeau.