International Women’s Day 2023: Embracing Gender Equality at the ILO

Article | 03 March 2023
On International Women’s Day we acknowledge the achievements of all women and girls across the globe and their invaluable contributions to societies, economies and the planet. However, International Women’s Day is also an opportunity to reflect on challenges and obstacles that limit women’s possibilities and undermine their participation in economic, political, social and professional life. It is a moment to recommit to the work that remains to be delivered towards achieving the full measure of equality, and dignity for all within the Office.

Equal rights and opportunities for women and girls in all their diversity are at the core of the ILO’s mandate since its Constitution in 1919. They are essential for social justice to prevail and key to productive, and resilient economies.

Since 1919, the ILO has extensively worked to ensure that all its policies, programmes and activities aim to systematically and formally address the specific and often different concerns of both women and men in all their diversity while also taking mutually-reinforcing action to promote gender equality in staffing, substance and structure within our organization.

In today’s exceptionally challenging context, gender equality and women’s empowerment in the world of work are key to achieving the vision of “Leave no one behind” in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and to meeting all the Sustainable Development Goals with particular attention to SDGs 5,8 and 10. All men and boys are key partners to embrace and advance the ILO transformative agenda for gender equality, diversity and inclusion.

Even though there is measurable progress in terms of gender equality including within the ILO’s work, it is of key importance to build on this momentum and continue “walking the talk” on gender equality by improving gender mainstreaming in all ILO’s work while also improving the representation of women at all levels. This can be achieved by establishing an inclusive and enabling organizational culture free from gender bias and discrimination and well supported by progressive institutional policies and practices.  

The ILO’s International Women’s Day event on 8 March 2023 will provide a space for the Office to:
  • acknowledge women's crucial contributions to the world of work while reflecting on persistent obstacles in advancing their role in societies and economies and ways to advance;
  • take stock of key regional priorities and showcase impact on the ground  
  • reflect on progress in advancing gender equality and parity within the Office.