Few days ago, on the 5th of March we had the pleasure of hosting a conversational event in collaboration with UN women in Tampere, in honor of International Women’s day. The theme was empathy and kindness towards yourself and others. With International Women’s day approaching, it is beneficial to take some time for reflection and think about things from a deeper societal perspective. In addition to our collaborative event, we we’re also able to get their thoughts on women’s rights for our blog.
Happy International Women’s Day – join Generation Equality!
Stating the obvious is a blatant way to begin but sometimes it has to be done just in order to highlight things that cannot be stressed heavily enough: gender equality is a vital yet unachieved goal. It is a group of ideas and views on justice, human rights and fairness, but it is first and foremost meant to be a lived reality. Not one single country in the world can claim to have achieved this end: gender-biased discrimination is still an issue everywhere in the world, and inequality extends to all areas of life including economics, safety and education, for instance. Gender equality, one of the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals, is an end in itself but also intersects all other goals, making it impossible to realise one without simultaneously working for the others1. It is the unachieved realisation of equality that makes the prevailing issues visible in everyday life, also for those of us who live under fairly safe and stable circumstances.
The beginning of a new decade always has an air of its own, an atmosphere that feels just slightly more significant than single years passing by. The beginning of 2020 marks the 25th anniversary of one of the most ambitious and comprehensive human rights and gender equality agendas, the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action of 1995. The declaration aims for the empowerment of women and girls all over the world, and it was adopted by no less than 189 governments that all seek to ensure full, equal participation for women in all areas of life2.
This ambitious goal is yet to be achieved. UN Women, the international champion for gender equality, is determined to fulfil the promises made in the Beijing Declaration, and its new campaign, Generation Equality, brings together the young activists of the new generations and the equality advocates who began the work with Beijing Declaration 25 years ago. Gender equality is an unfinished business, and this is something Generation Equality seeks to remedy.
It seems only natural that the theme of International Women’s Day 2020 is I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights. This motto can be declared by anyone anywhere, regardless of age or any other aspect of social or personal background: the campaign is thoroughly inclusive and invites each and every one to join. All hands on deck, so to speak, are now needed perhaps more than ever before. The need to turn gender equality from ideas into reality is dire which can be seen in the campaign’s declaration and its very language: equal participation, pay, peace, environmental justice, reproductive health rights etc. are indeed demanded, not bashfully wished for.
Are you Generation Equality?
If you are – in which case, congratulations – declare it today, on the first Women’s Day of the new decade. Realising gender equality requires hard, resilient work, but Women’s Day is also about celebrating. And yes, activism, hard work and sincere, pure joy can coexist. Happy Women’s Day!
UN Women Tampere
Citations and more information:
 “Why Gender Equality Matters Across all SDGs. An Excerpt of Turning Promises into Action: Gender Equality in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.” UN Women. https://www.unwomen.org/-/media/headquarters/attachments/sections/library/publications/2018/sdg-report-chapter-3-why-gender-equality-matters-across-all-sdgs-2018-en.pdf?la=en&vs=5447 Cited: 23.2.2020
 “About Generation Equality.” UN Women. https://www.unwomen.org/en/get-involved/beijing-plus-25/about Cited: 23.2.2020