You are here: International Women's Day 2019: Think Equal. Build Smart. Innovate for Change.

8 March 2019

Happy International Women’s Day from UNA-UK! As the global community gathers to celebrate, reflect and empower women and girls across the world, the UN continues to take a leading role in striving towards gender equality.

This year’s theme is ‘Think Equal. Build Smart. Innovate for Change.’ The UN is calling for 'smart solutions' by advocating for placing technology and innovation at the heart of their approach to gender equality. In an increasingly technological world, this means ensuring women and girls are not left behind. This year, the UN is drawing attention to the gender gaps which emerge when women and girls experience unequal access to, and participation, in technology and innovations.

In a statement by Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, the UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women remarked:

At a time when innovation is dominant, shaping and changing the way people live in every part of the world, we have to be intentional about its use to positively impact the lives of women and girls. That means making sure they are not only consumers of innovation, but take their place as innovators. 

UNA-UK continues to campaign on gender equality and women, peace and security issues. We are a proud member of Gender Action for Peace and Security (GAPS), and advocate a "feminist foreign policy" for the UK. Our Mission Justice campaign, which establishes the idea that sexual violence by UN Peacekeepers is a crime that requires a criminal justice response, has a strong relevance to the gendered impacts of UN peacekeeping. Pledge your support here.

Across the UK, there will be many activities and events taking place, bringing together people from all walks of life in support of gender equality. Here's what you can do: 

  • Tweet: Get involved in the UN social media challenge with the hashtag #WomensDay and be part of building a gender-equal future.
  • Read up: Check out UNA-UK’s 'Global Britain Scorecard' on gender equality to find out how we rated the UK's actions to champion gender equality. 
  • Attend events: Join one of our local UNAs in Wandsworth to discuss the ways to inspire, lead and help women.
  • Watch: Watch UN Women’s latest video to see how innovation can play a crucial role in championing gender equality.
  • Educate: Use our teaching resources to help guide you in teaching about gender equality.

Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, a renowned advocate for gender equality, said that ‘gender equality is critical to the development and peace of every nation’. In honouring his work and legacy, UNA-UK will be hosting an evening to celebrate his life and vision for the future on 3 June. Find out how to get your tickets here.

Photo: Flickr/ADB. An Asian Development Bank project to empower Afghan women through technology.