Gender equality – is not a woman’s issue- it’s everybody’s!

08 Mar 2014

Women and men streamed into Durres city center to commemorate International Women’s Day and call for gender equality in society. A screen was placed in the city main promenade where “Gender Equality Good will ambassadors” through their performance and speeches delivered messages that gender equality, empowerment of women and their full enjoyment of human rights are essential to economic and social development.

They also stressed the vital role of men and boys as agents of societal change.
Issues highlighting the principle of equality between women and men were also brought to the fore by many other speakers during the event. They called on citizens from all walks of life to be advocates for inspiring change for women's advancement.

Ylljet Alickaj a “Gender Equality Good Will Ambassador” present at the event delivered a special message: “Gender equality is, first and foremost a human rights issue. Empowering women is also an indispensable tool for development. Women can indeed be agents of change of development”.

Ardit, a citizen of Durres, present at the event said: “Yes, I decided to join this manifest today because I want my daughters to enjoy the same opportunities as men. They are as educated as man, as smart as men. Society is made to be equal”.

Ilir, a young boy from Tirana who had joined the event, amongst others said:
”Women’s rights-should be everybody’s concerns. It is my concern and I am determined to respect all the women in my life”.

Participants at the event also sang the anti-Violence Anthem, “Bring the sun down” composed in the framework of the “Orange your world initiative” as part of the UN Secretary General UNite to End Violence against Women campaign. A group of young men wearing women’s shoes also got on stage to call on men and boys to build partnerships based on equality, both in the family and in the public life.
The event was organized by ‘Today for Future” NGO supported by UNDP, UN Women, Government of Sweden and Municipality of Durres, in partnership with the Ministry of Social Welfare and Youth.

The 2014 theme for International Women's Day is: "Equality for women is progress for all."
The United Nations stresses gender equality is the panacea for many of the world's problems, including poverty, climate change, economic growth and more.

"Countries with more gender equality have better economic growth. Companies with more women leaders perform better. Peace agreements that include women are more durable. Parliaments with more women enact more legislation on key social issues such as health, education, anti-discrimination and child support. The evidence is clear: equality for women means progress for all," UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement.

To see how UNDP and other UN agencies involve men and boys in the fight against domestic violence