International Women’s Day 2017

Events | News | Messages | Featured articles | Take five | From where I stand | A snapshot of other UN agencies’ works | Infographics | Photo Essay | Join the Conversation

The 2017 theme for International Women’s Day, 8 March, focuses on “Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030”.

The world of work is changing, with significant implications for women. On one hand, technological advances and globalization bring unprecedented opportunities for those who can access them. On the other hand, there is growing informality of labour, income inequality and humanitarian crises. See the flyer and RSVP for the official UN commemoration of the International Women's Day»

Against this backdrop, only 50 per cent of working age women are represented in the labour force globally, compared to 76 per cent of men. What’s more, an overwhelming majority of women are in the informal economy, subsidizing care and domestic work, and concentrated in lower-paid, lower-skill occupations with little or no social protection. Achieving gender equality in the world of work is imperative for sustainable development.

The United Nations observance on 8 March will call upon all actors to Step It Up for Gender Equality towards a Planet 50-50 by 2030 by ensuring that the world of work works for all women.

The upcoming sixty-first session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW61), from 13 – 24 March, at UN Headquarters will deliberate on “Women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work.” Read more»




The Secretary-General, Written message on International Women’s Day

New York, 8 March 2017

"Women’s rights are human rights. But in these troubled times, as our world becomes more unpredictable and chaotic, the rights of women and girls are being reduced, restricted and reversed..." Read the full message

Managing a company is about managing talents, there’s no place for discrimination

Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030

Message by UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka on International Women's Day 2017

“In roles where women are already over-represented but poorly paid, and with little or no social protection, we must make those industries work better for women...” Read the full message

Universal access to sexual and reproductive health—the key to gender equality

Statement of UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin on International Women’s Day, 8 March 2017

"Gender equality is also vital to sustainable development, peace and security. It’s not just a women’s issue. It’s an issue for all of humanity..." Read the full message

Related link: International Women's Day messages from the UN system

Featured Articles

Bringing women on equal footing with men in Kosovo Police
"Women in the police force were expected to demonstrate their capacity much more than men in order to be successful...”more
The Smart Women from Ingiri - How the Dream of Two Sisters Materializes
“We were too young, but we started up our business out of necessity. First we left the baked goods with our acquaintances..." more

Landfill becomes a forest after woman councillor organises town
Taraclia village put up with an unhealthy landfill – until Pelaghia Traci got her neighbours to act...more
Turkish business leaders say "Equality means business!"
We need policies and practices that enable women to participate in the labour market on equal terms with men...more
In the words of Luiza Karimova: “We were sex slaves”
"My job with Podruga is to make sure that the girls stay clean, that they are safe..." more

Take five

“Globally, women now represent 50 per cent of the company’s board members”
"When we empower women, the entire society benefits, grows and thrives...” more
"Managing a company is about managing talents, there’s no place for discrimination"
“Most of our leadership positions are occupied by women and we will continue supporting them..." more

From where I stand

Tatiana Covalciuc
“Fed up with the harassment, I appealed to the media”. Today she aims to set up support structures for returning migrants. more
Nada Marković
“When you empower a woman economically, she can exercise her rights better, within her family, her community and in the world..." more
"Saudita Marku”
Now runs a guest house for tourists, and also a bee-keeping business... more

A snapshot of other UN agencies’ works


Prime time dads: Improving gender equality in Georgia through reality TV
We must always remember that fathers are irreplaceable and no one else can be a stand-in father on our behalf.” more
Taking action to promote gender equality in Turkmenistan
“Engineers at work in Turkmenistan, where the gap between ‘female’ and ‘male’ professions is slowly diminishing..." more


What does the data say?
Globalization, digital innovations, and rapid advances in communication technologies pitted against climate change, economic inequality, and humanitarian crises, among other factors, continue to transform the world in which we work — posing both challenges as well as opportunities in realizing women’s economic potential for a better tomorrow. Below, explore just some facts on where women stand today in the changing world of work. To explore some facts on where women stand today in the changing world of work, see the full infographic»

Think you know your facts on women and the economy? Take our quiz to find out!

Join the conversation

This International #WomensDay, we ask for equal opportunities and women’s rights at work. Are you with us?

International Women’s Day 2017