International Women’s Day serves as a reminder of the important achievements of women in the fight for equal rights, as well as the marginalization and discrimination still endured by women throughout the world.
At Action Against Hunger we believe that we must consider gender in our programs and foster a commitment to gender equality in our organizational culture and internal policies in order to increase the impact of our interventions for the most vulnerable. To this end, Action Against Hunger’s Gender Unit leads and supports our international network to strengthen our accountability to gender in the fight against hunger.
Even so, the road to equality is still long. The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day, “think equal, build smart, innovate for change”, invites us to push for transformative change in the way we work, and find innovative approaches to advance gender equality.
In honour of International Women’s Day, the members of Action Against Hunger’s Gender Unit shared how they fight for gender equality every day. The team reflects on the idea that a genuine commitment to gender equality at Action Against Hunger starts with having staff who are personally and professionally dedicated to fighting against inequalities and empowering women.
“At Action Against Hunger, we believe that we cannot end hunger without ending gender inequalities and gender-based violence, as they are both causes and consequences of hunger. We witness every day in our work the challenges that gender inequality and gender-based violence pose to the most vulnerable to access the assistance they need. Patriarchy is alive and well, and rigid gender social norms often keep women and girls at the lower end of the power balance. It prevents them not only from accessing the resources they need but also from controlling the decisions affecting their lives, whether it is their education, their career, or even their body and sexuality. Therefore, we know how important it is for us to be aware of the specific situation of women and girls and design strategies to support their participation and empowerment in the family and their communities.
International Women’s Day is not a day for flowers or chocolate. It is a day to honor the memory of the amazing women and girls who have led the way and left us their incredible legacy, and a day to remember that all women – women of colour, queer women, transgender women, women with disabilities – are the leaders who will achieve equality for all. International Women’s Day is a day to remind us all that the fight for gender equality and women’s rights is not over and needs to continue every day.”
– Michael Arnaud, Associate Director – Gender and Gender-Based Violence at Action Against Hunger Canada”.