UN Women data reveals women’s leadership is far from equal and under threat by the pandemic; sharpens imperative for the 2021 Generation Equality Forum

Activists, celebrities and world leaders around the world commemorate International Women’s Day


(New York, 8 March) – UN Women is intensifying its preparations for the 2021 Generation Equality Forum amidst a back-drop that shows women’s rights and leadership are under threat, and even more exacerbated due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Current projections show that gender equality in the highest positions of power will not be reached for another 130 years. This year’s International Women’s Day rings the alarm on rising threats to gender equality and highlights the need to build back better for a more gender-equal future.

The official UN commemoration, under the theme of “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world on the way to the Generation Equality Forum”, will feature global leaders, including the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, the Prime Minister of Iceland Katrín Jakobsdóttir, activist and actor Eva Longoria, and Somaya Faruqi, member of the Afghan Girls Robotics Team. In addition to offering reflections on the theme of the day, they will call for redoubling of efforts to increase women’s participation in all aspects of leadership and public life, and on finding new solutions that leave no woman or girl behind.

“We must remember 2021 as a global inflection point on gender equality – a year when women’s rights and leadership accelerated irreversibly. The Generation Equality Forum will be a catalyst for lasting change. A more equal world will be a different world. More inclusive decisions will be made, different voices heard, and different solutions created,” said UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.