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The United Nations lead International Women’s Day with the theme “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality”

  |   SUN UN Network

IWD2016_Banner_StepItUpMarch8March_RLB_0689_675x450On 8 March 2016, United Nations agencies led International Women’s Day under the theme “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality” to reflect on how to accelerate the 2030 Agenda, building momentum for the effective implementation of the new Sustainable Development Goals. The day also focused on new commitments under UN Women’s Step It Up Initiative and build momentum behind other existing commitments on gender equality, women’s empowerment and women’s human rights

“We can only address these problems by empowering women as agents of change. For more than nine years, I have put this philosophy into practice at the United Nations. We have shattered so many glass ceilings we created a carpet of shards. Now we are sweeping away the assumptions and bias of the past so women can advance across new frontiers.” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

In 1977, the United Nations General Assembly formally invited member states to proclaim March 8 as the UN Day for women’s rights and world peace, it is now celebrated annually to bring people together for the celebration, reflection, advocacy, and commitment to action – at global and local levels – for women all over the world.

“Each one of us is needed – in our countries, communities, organisations, governments and in the United Nations – to ensure decisive, visible and measurable actions are taken under the banner: Planet 50-50: Step It Up for Gender Equality.” – UN Women Executive Director,  Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka

Learn more at UN Women

Additional efforts led by UN agencies

Rome based agencies celebrate at the World Food Programme

The International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD), the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP) held a joint International Women’s Day event that took place at the WFP headquarters in Rome. The event reflected the focus of the 60th session of the Commission on the Status of Women’s theme – ‘Women’s empowerment and its link to sustainable development’ and also contributed to the ongoing debate on how to support women and girls in order to eradicate hunger by 2030.

Learn more: FAO 

Accelerating Progress towards the Economic Empowerment of Rural Women – A five year multi-agency programme

In recognition of International Women’s Day, the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) reflected on successes of the Accelerating Progress towards the Economic Empowerment of Rural Women (RWEE) Programme. Launched in 2012RWEE is a joint programme of the FAO , the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD), the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women).

The joint programme is a five-year multi-agency programme being implemented in Ethiopia, Guatemala, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Nepal, Niger and Rwanda aiming at empowering rural women, in particular by improving their food and nutrition security, increasing their incomes, enhancing their decision-making power and encouraging policy environments that are conducive to their economic empowerment.


New UNFPA and UNICEF Global Programme to Accelerate Action to End Child Marriage

On 8 March 2016, UNICEF and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), on the occassion of International Women’s Day, announced a new multi-country initiative to accelerate action to end child marriage. The programme forms part of a global effort to prevent girls from marrying too young and to support those already married as girls in 12 countries across Africa, Asia and the Middle East where child marriage rates are high.

“The world has awakened to the damage child marriage causes to individual girls, to their future children, and to their societies,” – Anthony Lake, UNICEF Executive Director and Chair of the SUN Movement Lead Group. 

Learn more >

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