Ahead of the International Women’s Day, we are pleased to share with you the message of solidarity from Brother Shoya Yoshida, ITUC-AP General Secretary.
Dear Union Women, Young People, Equality Champions:
For all those times when you spoke up for yourselves, for other women, other people. For challenging those policies, systems, structures, and decisions that are affecting and impacting daily lives.
For all of you who think that doing something, regardless how big or small, could be the most powerful thing you could ever do to help. For all the ways you have contributed to women’s equality and empowerment in your country, and across the region, thank you!
We are at a pivotal moment around the world. It will be 25 years since the adoption of Beijing Platform of Action and five years since the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Not a single country can claim to have achieved or on track to achieve gender equality by 2030. That is not stopping women, including from our own movements, to push forward the boundaries of what is possible, more than we think we can, more than the ordinary, to change the reality for all of us.
Women are organising and mobilising their collective voices and power to fight persistent inequalities in a systematic way. It is no longer just about empowerment. We are making real progress, as these women and all other women and supporters standing beside them are taking every moment as an opportunity to make their voices heard. They are using and growing the power they already have to create transformational change. In society. In the community. In the workplace. In the persistent inequalities in gender, in incomes, in wealth.
You are part of that extraordinary and growing generation of equality-driven movements. You are at the centre of it all - mobilising governments and societies to realise the promises of the Beijing Platform of Action and 2030 Agenda for everyone. You have the power, and responsibility, to secure a better and fairer future not just for yourself but for other women and their families.
International Women’s Day is another opportunity to do exactly that. To break through the barriers that remain. To galvanise support for the changes you seek. To impassion millions more supporters, including men, to enliven the equality odyssey.
You are not starting from scratch. You can build on the struggles of those who have come before you to create a better, more gender equal and inclusive future. It is the kind of future that we used only to imagine. It is a future world that you, joined by others, are working hard to create. A future where we all want to go.
Gender equality won’t be achieved in a day and it won’t happen all at once. It will be a long journey ahead, but it will happen. Because we can do better and get there faster. You are showing the way.
Your collective courage amidst the strong resistance and backlash against gender equality makes us feel even more hopeful of the future. As you march towards the next phase of your journey, your ITUC-AP family will continue to be your major supporter and partner.