Helping women thrive and transform in the changing world of work


© 2009 Jessica Alderman, Courtesy of Photoshare

On International Women’s Day, PMNCH joins partners worldwide to recognize the role of “Women in the Changing World of Work“, celebrate how far we have come in achieving gender equality and empowerment, while acknowledging the work that still needs to be done to realize the key targets of the 2030 Agenda on equality, inclusivity and empowerment.

We know that when women are given an equal chance to participate fully in work, opportunities bloom and communities thrive. Yet women at work still face discrimination, poorer wages in comparison to men, violence, regular infringement on their rights and ability to make decisions that affect them, their future and inevitably, the ability to realize their full potential.

The facts are not pretty.

The number of women in the workforce is far behind that of men. Gender inequalities have also concentrated women at the bottom of the global value chain — in the lowest paid jobs, in piece-rate, subcontracted work, and insecure forms of self-employment, with little or no access to decent work and social protection.

Women are more likely to be unemployed than men worldwide, with wide disparities regionally.

Women are concentrated in lower-paid, lower-skill work with greater job insecurity and under-represented in decision-making roles and fields such as science and technology

From cooking and cleaning, to fetching water and firewood or taking care of children and the elderly, women bear a disproportionate burden of unpaid work across the world

Women are over-represented among the 73 per cent of the world’s population that has partial or no access to social protection, rendering them more vulnerable to poverty and other inequalities. (Courtesy of UN Women

This needs to change!

Today, we put the spotlight on our partners around the world as they continue to press for change and raise the volume around issues that need desperate attention if we are to see a world where women thrive and communities transform.

White Ribbon Alliance (WRA)

WRA and its 14 National Alliances will mark International Women’s Day by boldly taking bold action for women:
  • A team from WRA Tanzania will begin their ascent to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro to tell the whole world that they will not tolerate the rise of maternal mortality.
  • WRA Kenya will hold an adolescent and youth forum where citizen voices will call for adequate planning and provision of reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health services.
  • WRA India will formally launch the “What Women Want” campaign, which highlights the voices of women and what quality health care means to them.
  • WRA Uganda will engage with the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development to call upon leaders to "Act Now to End Teenage Pregnancy.”

UN International Women’s Day commemoration

A commemoration of International Women’s Day with UN officials, gender experts and activists, private sector and celebrities will be broadcast live from the Trusteeship Council Chamber, UN Secretariat at; and, Wednesday, 8 March, from 10 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. The UN Observance of International Women’s Day 2017 will focus on the theme of “Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030”, with diverse voices and representatives from industries driving change and disruption. Panelists will share their visions of the future and the opportunities and challenges the changing world of work presents for women.

World Bank Live: A Celebration of International Women's Day

The World Bank, Rotary International and Oppenheimer will celebrate International Women’s Day on Wednesday, March 8, 9:30 - 11 am (ET) with a session to illustrate the power of women to change the world and improve the lives of the less fortunate through innovative and impactful projects in the areas of education and health.

Follow the event on Twitter with #IWD2017

International Labour Organisation

Towards a better future for women and work: Voices of women and men

A special panel discussion will launch the forthcoming report – Towards a better future for women and work: Voices of women and men – which details the results of a global research project conducted through the Gallup World Poll assessing women’s and men’s attitudes about women and work. The findings are based on interviews conducted in 2016 with nearly 149,000 adults in 142 countries and territories about their perceptions regarding the working lives of women.

Watch the live stream on starting from 14.30 GMT



Four women’s rights activists you need to know

In commemoration, UNFPA is celebrating four inspiring women’s rights activists. These women are leaders in their countries and communities. All have overcome enormous barriers to raise their voices on behalf of the most vulnerable and marginalized.

Women Deliver

Making jobs work for women

Today, men and women work in different jobs, for different pay, and face different tradeoffs between their work and family – differences that systematically disadvantage women. But smart policies can address these disadvantages, encourage women to deliver on – and be recognized for – their contributions as productive citizens, workers, and parents, while generating widespread and enduring social and economic benefits.

The Global Fund

Afghanistan’s New Nurses: More than a Career

In Afghanistan, training to be a nurse is more than a career choice. It’s an act of bravery, a challenge to cultural norms and a vital public service.