2021 is a year of significant importance for the gender equality achievement process. The crisis caused by the pandemic prioritizes the importance of every person's engagement in building of an equal society, a society where women are more encouraged to hold leadership positions, that offers access to participative processes and encourages them to contribute to a sustainable future in a COVID-19 world.
In this context, the theme of the 2021 International Women's Day declared by the UN was “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world” and celebrates tremendous efforts by women and girls around the world in fighting for their rights during the pandemic. Women belong to one of the groups of vulnerable persons most affected by the pandemic crisis. They are in the frontline fighting with the pandemic and have proven all this time, how important their role is, as well as the efforts they make every day at their workplace, in the society and own families. They made it possible to maintain a functioning society and to adapt more easily to a new lifestyle, which has had an effect on all areas of girls and women's life. In this regard, women have taken leadership positions in all their spheres of activity and life through the unpaid and paid activities they have carried out.
“Gender equality sits at the core of the fundamental human rights and continues to be a priority of the United Nations Organization. The crisis highlighted the vital importance of women's input, and at the same time, the disproportional burden on women. On the International Women's Day and beyond, let us join efforts and fight for a world where gender equality prevails," mentioned Simon Springett, the UN Resident Coordinator in the Republic of Moldova.
In order to highlight the strength of women and girls, the UN Moldova message on Women's Day and the related awareness campaign is “I decide. It is time for equality". The message aligns with the priority theme of the 65th session of the Commission on the Status of Women: “Women’s full and effective participation and decision-making in public life, as well as the elimination of violence, for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls”. It will be conveyed through the activities conducted by the UN Agencies in Moldova during 1-15 March 2021.
"A good governance and democracy require equal and inclusive representation in all decision-making processes. When more women are in leadership positions, different voices can be heard, and other solutions are identified. Year 2021 represents an important opportunity to enhance the representation of women and girls because COVID-19 forces us to rethink the way our society works," declared Dominika Stojanoska, UN Women Representative to Moldova.
Although women are becoming increasingly involved in leadership activities, this does not achieve the aim of equal representation of both women and men in decision-making processes, especially in the situation when women have to perform house-related activities besides their main activities.
Statistics show that in 2020 the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova consisted of 22.8% women, and other 24.8% women are members of the Government. At the local level, in 2019, 21.8% of persons holding mayor positions were women, 27% were elected in district councils and 36% in village councils. According to February 2021 data, only 21 countries in the world have women presidents and heads of Government, Moldova becoming one of them recently, when for the first time in the history of the country, a woman became its President.
On the eve of the International Women's Day a number of online events will be launched: "Gender Debates Café", which marks the launching of the campaign and invites female leaders from different areas of activity to a dialogue regarding the rights of women to make decisions in all aspects of their lives. At the same time, numerous information materials will be distributed online, highlighting the importance of positioning women and girls as leaders and decision-makers.
For the first time, this year, women MPs and locally elected seek together solutions for disadvantaged groups affected by the pandemic. The consultations take place on the Women Caucus in the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova and engage the locally elected women from all regions of the country. The project is supported by the UN Agencies: UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF and UN Women.
At the same time, UN Agencies will publish success stories to inspire other women to accomplish their dreams and to fight for their rights, will provide data on women's participation in the elections, will present a study analyzing why women earn less than men, will have online thematic discussions on the role of a leader and other activities with women affected by HIV.
The objective of these activities is to raise awareness of women and men about knowing and claiming the rights of women and to support them in accessing leadership positions at their workplace, in the society, family, etc.
The awareness and information campaign on the International Women's Day is implemented under the guidance of the UN Women - the United Nations Entity dedicated to Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women.
Source: UN in Moldova