A statement on the Occasion of International Women’s Day
This year’s International Women’s Day theme, March 8, 2021, “Women in Leadership: Achieving an Equal Future in the World of COVID-19” The theme celebrates the tremendous efforts of women and girls around the world in shaping a more equal future and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. It is also in line with the priority theme of the sixty-fifth session of the Commission on the Status of Women, which is “the full and effective participation of women and decision-making in public life, as well as the elimination of violence, to achieve gender equality and empowerment for all women and girls,” and the pioneering Generation Equality campaign, which calls for the right Women in decision-making in all areas of life, equal pay, equal participation in unpaid care and domestic work, an end to all forms of violence against women and girls and health care services that respond to their needs.
Women are on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis as healthcare workers, caregivers and innovators, and as some of the most idealistic and effective national leaders in fighting the pandemic. The crisis has highlighted the centrality of their contributions and the disproportionate burdens that women bear. Women leaders and women’s organizations have demonstrated their skills, knowledge and networks to lead effectively in COVID-19 response and recovery efforts. Women bring different experiences, perspectives, values, and skills to the negotiation table, and make indispensable contributions to decisions, policies, and laws that work best for all. The majority of countries that have been most successful in stemming the tide of the COVID-19 pandemic and responding to its wider health, social and economic impacts are headed by women. For example, heads of government in Denmark, Ethiopia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, New Zealand and Slovakia have been widely recognized for the speed, decisiveness and effectiveness of their national response to COVID-19, as well as continuous communication to provide facts about public health information. However, women hold the office of heads of state and government in only 20 countries around the world. In addition to pre-existing social and systemic barriers to women’s participation and leadership, new barriers have emerged with the Covid-19 pandemic facing women around the world, such as increased domestic violence, unpaid care duties, unemployment and poverty. Although women make up the majority of frontline workers, there is a disproportionate and insufficient representation of women in national and global policy spaces for COVID-19. To support women’s rights and fully utilize women’s leadership potential in preparing for and responding to the pandemic, the Coalition of Women Parliamentarians calls for the integration of the views of women and girls in the formulation and implementation of policies and programs in all areas and in all stages of the pandemic response and recovery.
It is imperative to allocate budgets to empower women economically so that they can fulfill their roles politically and to run for elections. Legislation must be amended and the quota rate increased at various representation levels. Harassment and bullying of all kinds against women must be condemned, especially cyber bullying due to their role in limiting women’s advancement to reach places of Decision making.
Violence against women not only affects women, but also their families and society as a whole. It is worth noting that the coalition took pioneering steps in starting a campaign on May 4, 2019 on combating violence against women in public life, developed a guide in Arabic and English, and formed a voluntary national advisory team with diverse experiences in academic, economic, media, legislative, and electronic fields, conducted awareness campaigns in All governorates of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and is still conducting weekly awareness campaigns about the danger of violence against women in public life, and the Coalition will transfer this experience to the region.