On 8 March 2019 Graduate Women International (GWI) join the global community in celebrating International Women’s Day; a day for world citizens to shine a spotlight on gender equity issues, how these issues impede global development, and how they can be eliminated. The 2019 International Women’s Day theme, set by the United Nations is, “Think equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change”, aims to inspire, encourage and empower women and men to improve education opportunity for other women and girl and advance social protection systems and sustainable infrastructure.
The rapidity with which technology is advancing offers opportunities at a rate that has not been experienced in history. However, a gendered digital divide continues with statistics reporting the underrepresentation of women in innovation sectors. To ensure and improve gender equality and increase the potential inclusivity in future technology, societies must embrace the crucial role women play in the context of future advancement conceptions. Only through combined ingenuity in all sectors can we, as a global community, achieve the ambitious 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
As organizations devoted to improving the lifelong education opportunity of women and girls, GWI continue to mobilise and challenge the patriarchal status quo and influence social norms to facilitate the growth of women and girl visionaries. From a variety of projects such as a girl’s science lab in Ghana to groundbreaking innovations in menstrual hygiene security in India and parts of Africa, GWI and are galvanizing for a future that is gender equal. Through these and other programmes such as the Bina Roy Partners in Development GWI actively work to obliterate the barriers which create the gender disparity in the education.
“The further development of women, girls and humankind in general is relying on the innovation and ingenuity that can be achieved through education and global leadership of women. On International Day of Women GWI amplifies the voices of our fearless members who represent the enormous potential of women and who lead the call for the reduction in the gender disparity in education,” says Geeta Desai, GWI President. “Research has proved this point and our members have engaged in this advocacy for one hundred years. Now is the time to make serious inroads into patriarchal structures and thinking”, she adds.
Graduate Women International (GWI) is a membership-based international NGO based in Geneva, Switzerland, with presence in over 60 countries. Founded in 1919, GWI is the leading girls’ and women’s global organisation advocating for women’s rights, equality and empowerment through access to quality education and training up to the highest levels. GWI is in special consultative status with ECOSOC since 1947 and is an NGO maintaining official relations with UNESCO and ILO.