March 8 is International Women’s Day, a moment to celebrate women’s social, economic, cultural, and political achievements and to build support for accelerating gender equality.
For three decades, Equality Now and our global team of human rights lawyers and experts have worked side by side with grassroots and regional partners around the world to ensure women and girls everywhere can live safe, fearless, and free. This work would not be possible without the support of you. To mark #IWD2023, we wanted to share a few reasons why your support is needed now more than ever to #MakeEqualityReality.
1. Less than 2% of all US charitable giving goes to women’s and girls’ rights.
Do you know that giving to support women and girls represents less than 2% of charitable giving in the United States, which is split between nearly 47,000 organizations? Since 1992, Equality Now has been changing the law and the lives of women and girls around the world. But none of that would be possible without our incredible network of supporters. Your giving makes more of an impact than you can imagine.
2. 286 years to wait for equality is too long.
The UN recently estimated that it will take 286 years to reach global gender equality. Just last year at Davos, it was 132 years! That’s nearly three centuries to close the disparity across equality in legal rights, pay parity, health, education, and protection from violence and exploitation.
Equality Now has worked tirelessly for 30 years to close this gap, and we’ve made very important strides. However, COVID-19, climate change, unprecedented migration, rising income inequality, and the rise of autocratic leaders who openly promote xenophobia, misogyny, and human rights violations have slowed progress. Every step we take to lessen this gap is a victory, but 10 generations is too long to wait for gender equality.
3. Achieving women’s equality is a fundamental element of achieving 5 of the 17 UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous, and sustainable world. In addition to meeting SDG 5, which is to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls, the UN recognizes that women’s leadership and legal equality are also essential to achieving the following:
Along with SDG 5 (“Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”) Equality Now also recognizes and is committed to the intersectional nature of gender equality with:
– SDG 4 – Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
– SDG 8 – Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
– SDG 10 Reduce inequality within and among countries
– SDG 16 Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
4. Sexual violence is as prevalent as ever, and laws still aren’t doing enough to protect women and girls.
Sexual violence is an epidemic. Over her lifetime, one in three women will experience physical or sexual violence — regardless of age, background, or country. However, despite the pervasiveness of these crimes, laws around the world are insufficient, inconsistent, not systematically enforced, and in some instances, even promote and perpetuate sexual violence.
Sexual violence against women and girls is not about unchecked sexual desire. It’s rooted in structural misogyny and systemic inequality, which must be addressed through intersectional analysis, better laws and stronger implementation.
5. Little is being done globally to explore and address the global rise in online sexual exploitation and abuse.
Regulation of the digital world is inconsistent and ineffective. Those who are most profoundly affected by this are the people, groups, and communities with the least power and privilege. In 2018, Equality Now launched a campaign on the rise in online sexual exploitation and abuse. Our research found there is very little that women and girls can do to keep themselves safe online unless governments around the world address a series of related challenges within the digital ecosystem. With the help of partner organizations, we will change this.
We recently launched the Alliance for Universal Digital Rights (AUDRi) in partnership with Women Leading in AI. This powerful alliance is working to create a digital future in which everyone can enjoy equal rights to safety, freedom, and dignity – whoever they are and wherever, whenever, and however they exist and connect in the digital world. Already this week, at CSW we’ve hosted a consultation with women’s groups from around the world as part of AUDRi’s engagement in the Global Digital Compact process.
These are just five of so many reasons to support Equality Now this International Women’s Day. However you’re able to support us, together we know we can change the rules for all women and girls.
Make your gift today and change the rules for women and girls around the world