International Women’s Day highlighted the importance of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, which – signed by 189 governments, 20 years ago – set the agenda for realizing women’s rights. The theme set forth this year by UN Women was part of its Beijing+20 campaign, “Empowering Women, Empowering Humanity: Picture it!” The day was commemorative of the Platform for Action, and marked the launch of UN Women’s “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality.” Planet 50-50 asks governments to make national commitments to address the challenges that are holding women and girls back from reaching their full potential.
For International Women’s Day this year, we asked our UNA-USA campus chapters to participate in our #PictureIt global digital campaign, showing their support for gender equality. Different chapters celebrated in a variety of different ways.
Some campuses held large-scale International Women’s Day events, like a fashion show at the
At the University of Southern California, chapter leaders partnered with two other campus organizations to host a discussion with Julie Willig of Girl Up.
Ohio State University's campus chapter held a group discussion on what has accomplished since the Fourth World Conference on Women, held in Beijing in 1995. Students were able to discuss gender quotas in business and government, unequal pay, and many more women’s rights issues.
Our campus chapters also held successful #PictureIt digital rallies, in which students expressed the women’s issues they would most like to see address, using the #PictureIt hashtag to generate attention on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Farmingdale State College took it to the next level with a video montage!
Some campuses took it a step further this International Women’s Day opportunity by taking official action on the issue. Students at Colby-Sawyer College obtained signatures from the college’s President, Academic Dean and Club Adviser for a letter sent to Congresswoman Ann Kuster about the importance of supporting the ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). Through CEDAW, States would commit themselves to undertake a series of measures to end discrimination against women in all forms.
This International Women’s Day was a huge success, thanks to the dedicated members of our campus chapters who found such creative and engaging ways of making a difference on women’s rights issues in their communities.