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un observance of international women’s day


International Women’s Day is a time to celebrate women’s contributions everywhere! A capacity crowd in red turned out in the UN Trusteeship Council for a program that encouraged celebration with a call to action.


The Opening session of the program showcased a musical performance and upbeat and motivating words from many including the new Secretary-General, the President of the General Assembly, the Prime Minister of Iceland, the Chair of CSW61, the Executive Director of UN Women, and actress Anne Hathaway, the new Global Goodwill Ambassador. Some of the Step Up for Action highlights:

• Iceland is a model: it is #1 in the world for women’s rights and political participation!
• There is dynamism and growth when women are in leadership roles.
• Countries must strive for day care, parental leave, gender budgeting, a reduction in gender pay gaps, and men and boys’ participation.
• The Goodwill Ambassador is touring the globe speaking about the critical importance of paid parental leave.
• A goal must be to destigmatize men’s work in the home.
• It will take 120 years to achieve parity if we don’t STEP IT UP.
• On average, women earn 23% less than men.
• The SDGs will NOT be achieved if there is resistance and pushback against 50/50.
• Women’s Rights are Human Rights
• The clock is ticking to 2030.


This panel featured representatives from industries driving change and disruption. The panel was comprised of executives from Linkedin, You Tube, Airbnb, Connect and WIECO. They shared their visions of the future, and opportunities and challenges that the changing world of work presents for women.

Highlights from their discussion:
• With links to millions of companies and industries worldwide, Linkedin creates economic opportunities globally for everyone, especially women. Although women are filling only 25% of leadership positions worldwide, there has been an 18% increase in leadership this past year, mostly from the US, France and India.
• Google reflects a global diversity among their clients, making sure their products reach everyone, especially women.
• You Tube promotes freedom of expression and provides space for women to succeed in business by using it to promote their products and reach global audiences.
• They are looking at ways to invest in women in the fields of entertainment and the media. There are 2 ½ times more men in that sector.
• Airbnb has had a phenomenal impact on the empowerment of women who make up 55% percent of the hosts.
• Not only does it supply the needed income but the potential resources to start up new businesses.
• Women and girls need crisis services.
• Work is being done to change the behavior of men and boys who need to work together to help women become safe.

Today’s briefing painted a journey on the complexities in the lives of women everywhere. We heard what’s happening to millions and millions of women. It is the role of local, state, national and international institutions to implement the SDGS and women’s empowerment. There is a role for all of us to play, men and women – help to disrupt the status quo and stop talking just to ourselves.

ICJW Representatives UN NY
8 March 2017