International Women’s Day arrives this year at an important and evolving moment in time, as girls’ and women’s rights and gender equality are resurging in the public consciousness and dialogue in new, powerful, and long overdue ways.

A range of legal, social, health, and safety challenges – and their consequences – while often not widely recognized or understood nonetheless have a high and highly negative impact on girls and women, their families, and communities. For example:

  • Complications from pregnancy and childbirth are still a leading cause of death of girls in developing countries.
  • Girls account for more than 80 % of all new HIV infections globally among adolescents and are up to eight times more likely to be living with HIV than their male peers.
  • Globally, women perform 2.6 times more unpaid care and domestic work than men.

When girls and women can claim their rights, when their agency and ability is respected, when their voices are heard, change can happen.

Under the theme, “Time is Now: Rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives,” UN Women is urging the global community “to transform the momentum into action, to empower women in all settings, rural and urban, and to celebrate the activists who are working relentlessly to claim women’s rights and realize their full potential.”

Read the full article about women empowerment by Michelle Milford Morse at United Nations Foundation.