Feeling Ambivalent on International Women’s Day

On the eve of International Women’s Day, I was at a UN WOMEN side event in NYC whenchart_image my phone started buzzing with well wishes for a happy women’s day from my friends in Asia, filling me with — ambivalence. To be honest, the day always leaves me with mixed feelings: despite the great strides that the world has made in women’s rights in various ways, for me, it’s also a reminder of how so many women still don’t enjoy our basic human rights.

As we’ve returned from women’s day to what in many ways is still a man’s world, I wanted to share three thoughts about the intersection of women’s rights with our data world today.

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Every day is Women’s Day for IDA

At the World Bank, we believe no country, community, or economy can achieve its afghanistan-school-gender-girls.jpg potential or meet the challenges of the 21st century without the full and equal participation of women and men, girls and boys. This is particularly true in developing countries supported by the International Development Association (IDA), the arm of the World Bank that supports the poorest countries.

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Every Day We Need to Take Action to Be Bold for Change

Every Day We Need to Take Action to Be Bold for Change | Jim Kim | Pulse | LinkedInJim Kim Speech

The first Women’s Day was organized in 1909 to protest working conditions for women in New York City’s garment industry. It has since grown into a global movement to advance women’s equality, commemorated every year on International Women’s Day.

What was true more than a century ago holds true today: no country, organization or economy can achieve its potential without the full and equal participation of women and men. Eliminating barriers that discriminate against women not only leads to economic growth, it also benefits men and boys, families, businesses, and entire communities.

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Women in the changing world of work: Not just more jobs but better jobs for women

This year’s International Women’s Day “Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet fig1-wages-iwd_blog50-50 by 2030” places great emphasis on equality and economic empowerment. When countries give women greater opportunities to particip

ate in the economy, the benefits extend far beyond individual girls and women but also to societies and economies as a whole. Addressing gender gaps in accessing good quality jobs is not just the right thing to do from a human rights perspective; it is also smart economics. A recent study shows that raising labor participation of women at par with men can increase GDP in the United States by 5 percent, in the UAE by 12 percent and in Egypt by 34 percent.

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