Spotlight on International Women’s Day 2024

International Women’s Day (IWD) is on Friday 8th March 2024.

The official theme for this year, as determined by the United Nations, is “Invest in women: Accelerate progress” and highlight five key actions for improving women’s lives globally:

  • Investing in women, a human rights issue
  • Ending poverty
  • Implementing gender-responsive financing
  • Shifting to a green economy and care society
  • Supporting feminist change-makers

Read more from the UN’s website here

What is Gender-responsive Financing/budgeting?

“Gender-responsive budgeting is a strategy that creates budgets that work for everyone. By considering and analyzing the unique and diverse needs of every person, gender-responsive budgets strive for a fair distribution of resources…

For gender-responsive budgets to be effective, the priorities and needs of all people must be understood and included at every stage of the budget design and planning process.

UN Women has identified a series of steps to support their application:

  • Introduce laws mandating gender-responsive budgeting and clear guidelines and tools for implementation.
  • Analyse gender gaps and use findings to shape and monitor existing and future budgets.
  • Increase transparency on how budgets are allocated and spent to address gender gaps, follow the money, and ensure people can hold their governments to account.
  • Recognize the diverse needs of women, considering factors like socio-economic status, location, race, and ethnicity and encouraging lawmakers to engage with women from various backgrounds to ensure policies and public financing adequately support women and girls in all their diversity.”

Read more here

Sustainable Development Goals and Gender Equality

“The Sustainable Development Agenda, adopted by UN Member States in 2015, set a 2030 deadline for the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls. Now, with under 10 years left to meet it, the world is not on track. Amid the intersecting crises of COVID-19, the climate emergency, and rising economic and political insecurity, progress on gender equality has not only failed to move forward but has begun to reverse. Around the world, a growing backlash against women’s rights is threatening even well-established freedoms and protections.”

Read more here

UK Gender Pay Gap

From the latest statement (November 2023) from the Office of National Statistics:

“Median weekly earnings for all men increased by 6.8% from £623 in April 2022 to £666 in April 2023 and for women by 9.1% from £450 to £491 (Figure 3). All women have seen a larger change than both full-time and part-time women because of the proportions of full-time and part-time employees in both years.

Median weekly earnings for full-time men increased by 6.1% from £683 in April 2022 to £725 in April 2023 and for full-time women by 7.0% from £588 to £629.

Median weekly earnings for part-time men increased by 8.9% from £211 in April 2022 to £230 in April 2023 and for part-time women by 5.1% from £234 to £246.

It is important to note that the comparative analysis of full-time and part-time earnings by sex is complex. As such, pay growth patterns may differ for all employees when compared with full-time employees or part-time employees. This is because the proportion of employee jobs with full-time working patterns may change from year to year, affecting the composition of the “all employees” group.”

Global Gender Pay Gap

From the key findings of the Global Gender Pay Gap report, published June 2023 by the World Economic Forum:

“The global gender gap score in 2023 for all 146 countries included in this edition stands at 68.4% closed. Considering the constant sample of 145 countries covered in both the 2022 and 2023 editions, the overall score changed from 68.1% to 68.4%, an improvement of 0.3 percentage points compared to last year’s edition…

At the current rate of progress, it will take 131 years to reach full parity.”