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International Women's Day

The official United Nations theme for International Women's Day in 2016 is Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality. The UN observance on 8 March will reflect on how to accelerate and build momentum for the effective implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It will equally focus on new commitments under UN Women’s Step It Up initiative, and other existing commitments on gender equality, women’s empowerment and women’s human rights.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

Building on the success of the Millennium Development Goals and adopted by 193 Member States in 2015, Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development sets out 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty and promote shared economic prosperity, social development and environmental protection by 2030, and categorically affirms: “The achievement of full human potential and of sustainable development is not possible if one half of humanity continues to be denied its full human rights and opportunities.” Vigorously advocated for by UN Women, civil society and other partners, the agenda includes a transformative stand-alone goal on gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls as well as gender-sensitive targets in 11 other goals.

UN Women's Step It Up initiative

UN Women's initiative Planet 50–50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality Step It Up asks governments to make and follow through with national commitments to address the challenges that are holding women and girls back from reaching their full potential. As of February 2016, more than 90 concrete government commitments and firm pledges have been made to overcome gender equality gaps at, and since, a historic event — the Global Leaders’ Meeting on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment: A Commitment to Action co-hosted by UN Women and the People’s Republic of China — in September 2015.

UN commemoration event

The official UN commemoration for IWD took place in the Trusteeship Council at the UN Secretariat in New York City from 10 a.m. to 12.45 p.m EST. It consisted of a series of musical performances and two panel discussions. The first, from 10-11:15 a.m., reflected on what a gender-equal planet means and how to achieve it by 2030 by joining the efforts of the United Nations, governments, civil society and the private sector. For the second panel, entitled “The Push for Parity”, panelists probed the progress made in achieving gender equality in the UN system, examined the challenges remaining and unpacked how to mainstream gender perspectives from 11.15 a.m. to 12.45 p.m. See flyer »

View webcast of the event »

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