International Women's Day (IWD) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The 2023 International Women's Day theme is #EmbraceEquity.
Across countries and cultures, what does the motto of the IWD #embraceequity mean? The term “equity” refers to fairness and justice and is distinguished from equality: Equality means providing the same to all, whereas equity means recognizing that we do not all start from the same place and must acknowledge and make adjustments to imbalances. Cases in point: Women largely work in planting the food, working in the fields, harvesting the crops, cooking the meals, or just working in desk jobs, and yet earn less and if poor and destitute, eat less than their male counterparts. And this situation can become exacerbated by sociopolitical factors such as conflict, famine, and hunger.
When social structures further exacerbate gender-based discrimination, political commitment becomes an essential tool in overcoming the fundamental barriers for women and girls. Many Member States have made commitments towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, including ending hunger and achieving gender equality and empowering women and girls. While countries recognize and continue to strive for gender equity, we need to move faster and insist on greater accountability for such commitments. The human rights message is clearly resonating.
For GAIN & partners, embracing equity and inclusion can have positive impacts on the food systems’ many challenges of ensuring food security and nutrition for a growing population and how to be feeding the plenty, supporting the livelihoods of millions of people working in the food supply chain, and doing so in a sustainable green lens. But the problem we see is that there is not enough data and evidence to prove this.
For this Interview Cruncher we would like to introduce you to a series of women who defeated boundaries and created a career for themselves, often in a male dominated environment. They will discuss how eliminating inequity for women is an ethical imperative.