That’s the year the World Economic Forum estimates the gender gap will be fully closed. This is a stark reminder on International Women’s Day that we all have work to do to achieve a more gender-inclusive world.
International Women’s Day has been celebrated since the early 1900s. Throughout its history, the day has meant many different things to many different people. Today, the organization behind International Women’s Day celebrates 10 core values: justice, dignity, hope, equality, collaboration, tenacity, appreciation, respect, empathy, and forgiveness.
Why is International Women’s Day still important? Because in only 40% of countries worldwide do equal numbers of boys and girls attend secondary school. Because the wage gap persists, with women making only 72 cents for every dollar a man makes in the United States. And because evidence shows that working toward gender equality doesn’t just help women; it changes lives, and it has an impact on families, workplaces, and individuals of all sexes, gender orientations, and ages—everyone, around the world.
As a woman-owned small business with expertise in and a passion for gender and inclusive development, EnCompass has worked toward gender equality since its inception. We are proud that the first project we ever implemented was an evaluation of programs for female journalists in Africa for the International Women’s Media Foundation.
Building upon our history of supporting gender and women’s empowerment programs, EnCompass now supports several projects under USAID’s Advancing the Agenda of Gender Equality mechanism. This work has included an assessment of USAID’s Gender Equality and Female Empowerment policy, training on the gender policy for the agency’s headquarters and overseas staff, and several gender-based violence prevention toolkits, among others. You can find more examples of this work here: http://bit.ly/2m4p4YT
On March 8th, make sure to visit www.internationalwomensday.com to find out how you can participate. At EnCompass, we will #BeBoldForChange, because 169 years is too long to wait for gender equality.