March 8 – International Women’s Day
March 8 – International Women’s Day
With various national and international backgrounds, the UN established and celebrated the International Women’s Day for the first time on March 8, 1975, coinciding with the International Women’s Year. The date is aims to focus the attention on the structural inequalities existing between men and women in relation to the access to rights, such as entering to the labor market, political participation, professional recognition, and their greater vulnerability to be victims of different forms of violence.
The pandemic caused by COVID- 19 exposed and deepened these inequalities. As examples, it is possible to point out:
- Due to their majority participation in the informal economy, women are more unprotected, without possibility to access to crucial labor rights in this context, such as unemployment benefits or sick leave.
- The logic of survival, origins by the economic crisis, can lead to the enabling of different forms of child relationships or marriages, ignoring the consequences of these practices for girls.
- The traditional distribution of roles by gender is reinforced, falling the major charge of the unpaid work on the women and girls, particularly, the tasks of caring of children, adolescents and the elderly, and domestic work. This charge is also increased due the change in dynamics produced by the implemented measures (staying at home all day, distance work, distance education).
- Women and girls are more vulnerable to the effects derived from the closure or limitation of essential health services, particularly, those related to sexual and reproductive health, with an impact, for example, on family planning, pregnancy attention, maternal mortality, unwanted adolescent maternity.
- The psycho-social effects of confinement, the uncertainty, the concern for health and economy, generate a more able context for the emergence of different forms of domestic violence, whose main victims are women, children and adolescents. Also, due to the confinement measures decreed, women and girls are forced to stay at home with the aggressors and with little contact with protection networks.
- Longer use of the Internet exposes girls, mains victims of sexual violence, to a greater vulnerability situation to different forms of online abuse and exploitation.
These inequalities affect the ways and scope in which women, in their various roles, can act as guarantors of the child rights. In turn, the gender constructions in which they are sustained are assigned and transmitted to child during the socialization process, imposing expectations and limiting, early, the current and future possibilities of girls for the exercise of rights. That is why the Inter-American Children Institute (IIN-OAS) joins the mobilization of this day, supporting the visibility of this unequal reality and highlighting the importance of identifying and considering it in the design, implementation and evaluation of policies for the promotion and protection of child rights.
- Inter-American Commission of Women (2020). COVID 19 en la vida de las mujeres. Razones para reconocer los impactos diferenciados. https://www.oas.org/es/cim/docs/ArgumentarioCOVID19-ES.pdf
- Plan International (2020). Vidas detenidas. El impacto de la COVID 19 en niñas y mujeres jóvenes. https://plan-international.org/sites/default/files/vidas_detenidas_-covid19-vidas_detenidas_070920_vf2.pdf
- United Nations Development Program (2020, 13 de julio), ¿Qué significa la COVID 19 para las mujeres?. https://www.undp.org/content/undp/es/home/blog/2020/what-does-coronavirus-mean-for-women.html