UN Designates Women’s History Day 2024 ‘Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress’


Gloucester County NAACP President Loretta Winters, 2L, at NJ Women's March in Trent in 2017. Photo by Joan Eddis Koch https://sites.google.com/view/womensmarchonnewjersey.

BY DANIEL WINNER | AC JosepH Media Correspondent

ATLANTIC CITY — March 8 is International Women’s Day, a holiday celebrated in tandem with Women’s History Month. With its origins in the women’s suffrage movement of the United States and Europe, International Women’s Day has been celebrated since the early 1900s.

In 1987, March was designated Women’s History Month by Congress in recognition of the contributions of women throughout history. Although the observance began in the United States, it has spread to other nations such as the United Kingdom, the Philippines and Australia. Canada’s Women’s History Month takes place in October.

Starting in 1996, the United Nations has given International Women’s Day a thematic title in order to spread awareness about particular issues that affect women’s rights. This year has been dubbed “Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress.”

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Women face insurmountable economic hardships both at home and abroad. According to UN Women, an organization devoted to addressing social and economic equality for women and girls, 1 in every 10 women in the world live in poverty.

As of 2022, New Jersey alone has had one of the largest wage gaps among all 50 states, with Black women earning only 52 cents for every dollar earned by white men.

The proposal, as suggested by this year’s holiday title, is to “accelerate economic growth and build more prosperous, equitable societies.” Here are some statistics to consider:

  • An additional $360 billion per year for developing countries is necessary to achieve gender equality (less than one fifth of the USD 2.2 trillion spent globally on military spending in 2022).
  • Addressing gender gaps in care and expanding services with decent jobs could create nearly 300 million jobs by 2035.
  • Removing gender gaps in employment could boost GDP per capita by 20%.

Programs dedicated to gender equality represent only 4% of official development assistance. Clearly, it is going to take a substantial amount of encouragement to achieve these goals.

If governments prioritize education and family planning, fair wages and social benefits, more than 100 million women and girls would be able to escape poverty. Income security, decent work, and economic power for women are all factors that must be addressed in order to achieve this goal.

Created in July 2010, UN Women is the amalgamation of four previous entities: Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW), International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW), Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women (OSAGI), and United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM).

The organization’s website states, “UN Women is the United Nations entity dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. A global champion for women and girls, UN Women was established to accelerate progress on meeting their needs worldwide.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: Daniel Winner has a double major in Religious Studies and Japanese from Penn State University and has traveled internationally to the Far East on several occasions. His insights on Buddhism and Asian culture give a unique view of historical and modern trends. He will be serving as a contributor for Front Runner New Jersey.

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