Today, on March 8, 2021, we commemorate International Women's Day, which is to remind us that we still need to fight for gender equality and to eliminate discrimination in all spaces. This is especially urgent at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has deepened pre-existing inequalities, exposed fragility of social, political and economic systems and thus amplified regressive effect on gender inequality.
Women and girls have been disproportionately affected and laid bare in the battle against COVID-19, working as caretakers, health sector workers, scientists and doctors. Even in these difficult times, they fight for human rights. Due to COVID-19 in Europe, incidents and evidence are increasingly reported showing that the policy of isolation and confinement has led to increased levels of domestic, sexual and gender-based violence which heightened the need of protection. COVID-19 is forcing Australians to rethink the nature of paid and unpaid work, while in Asia, gender inequality is on the rise with women disproportionately affected by job losses and the poverty that results. It is estimated that the pandemic will leave 118 million women and girls in poverty in Latin America. In North America, the gains of women joining the workforce have been wiped out. In Africa, women are feeding their people through soup kitchens due to lockdowns during the pandemic, while fighting patriarchy that continues manifesting itself in repressive, corrupt regimes and bad governance.
On the International Women's Day, it is more than important that, as democracy advocates, we lead in advancing equality. We express our solidarity with all courageous women who, on a daily basis, show their determination and perseverance to fight for democracy and human rights and to oppose injustice.
Happy International Women’s Day!