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International Women's Day – time to start making a difference

In a crucial year for women’s rights, we can all do our bit to bring gender equality closer to reality.

International Women’s Day celebrates women; their struggles and their spectacular achievements through the ages. It acts as an annual marker to remind us all that the ideal of gender equality is still more aspiration than reality.

Culturally, the world favours the man. It is hard for most of us to grasp that in 2015, the year which stands at the intersection between the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals and the incoming Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), that equality is still such a remote ideal.

This year it is important that the UN seeks to put women’s rights at the heart of the SDGs. But we don’t have to sit back and wait to see which member states will sign up fully to the SDGs, notably Clause 5, which states the aim of “achieving gender equality and empower all women and girls” over the next fifteen years.

We can all do something ourselves, now, today to further gender equality by changing the way we behave.

As Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

If you want to make a positive change, you can sign up to our International Women’s Day campaign by deciding to make a difference today.

For instance, if you find yourself in the position to do so, you can decide to pay a woman the same as you would a man. If you’re organising events or meetings then ask yourself if there is a fair representation of women. If you have children, challenge yourself not to perpetuate gender stereotypes, nor accept siblings’ gender assumptions. And if you see gender discrimination, why not speak out against it?

So, in this crucial year for women’s rights, what will you do to change the gender equation?

If you want to make a pledge to do something for International Women’s Day and beyond, then go onto to The Elders' twitter account and simply retweet the poster below with your pledge.

I will support women's rights graphic

Our work | Equality for girls and women

Equality for girls and women

The Elders are committed to supporting equality for men and women, girls and boys, in all aspects of life.

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The Elders are independent global leaders, brought together by Nelson Mandela, who offer their collective influence and experience to support peace building, help address major causes of human suffering and promote the shared interests of humanity.

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