Celebrating International Women’s Day
The first International Women’s Day was observed in 1911, three years after 15,000 women marched through New York City for voting rights and other demands.
On International Women’s Day (March 8) and every day, IFES celebrates and supports gender equality for a more democratic, peaceful and prosperous world.
For more than three decades, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) has supported equal rights, participation and justice for everyone in political and civic life. We work to ensure our programming benefits a diversity of women, keeping in mind that race, ethnicity, age, disability status, sexuality and other factors can contribute to additional marginalization. We support current and future women leaders, encourage and assist male champions of women’s rights and address important barriers to women’s political participation. IFES is proud to support our partners who are working toward shifting attitudes and practices that perpetuate inequality and discrimination against women in public and private life.
You can join IFES for the following events and the global #ChooseToChallenge inequality campaign. Throughout the month of March, @IFES1987 will feature people who support gender quality and democracy via Twitter and Facebook. Scroll down for more details.
- On March 18, IFES Senior Global Inclusion Advisor will participate in a Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) side event on “Barriers to the Full and Effective Participation of Women and Girls with Disabilities.” Learn more and RSVP.
- On March 22, IFES Acting Gender Advisor Gina Chirillo will participate in another CSW event, “How Religious and Traditional Actors Are Advancing Women’s Participation and Leadership in Public Life.” Learn more and RSVP.
In commemoration of International Women's Day, we invite you to learn more about how IFES and our partners support women worldwide to:
Advocate for Gender Equality for Women – Including Those Who Are Part of Other Marginalized Groups
- Recognizing that the COVID-19 pandemic has created new challenges and exacerbated existing barriers to political participation for women and other marginalized people, IFES published a briefing paper on Inclusion and Meaningful Political Participation.
- The Nepal Disabled Women Association (NDWA), one of IFES' local partners, is advocating to ensure that the rights of women with disabilities are included in Nepal's COVID-19 response.
- IFES’ Gender Impact of COVID-19 in Pakistan: Contextual Analysis and the Way Forward provided key recommendations for the government and Election Commission of Pakistan.
- Last May, the Consortium for Elections and Political Process Strengthening (CEPPS) hosted a virtual event on how to ensure that democracy, human rights and governance responses are gender responsive.
Exercise Their Political Rights During COVID-19
- In Nepal, IFES and NDWA trained women advocates with disabilities and journalists on rights-based reporting techniques for elections and democratic processes.
- As we celebrate International Women’s Day, IFES and the Pacific Disability Forum stand in solidarity with women with disabilities working to ensure equal access to rights in the COVID-19 response and recovery.
- CEPPS interviewed Tetyana Durneva, executive director of the nongovernmental organization and IFES partner Group of Influence, about her work fighting for gender equality, inclusion and the rights of internally displaced persons in Ukraine.
Provide Robust Gender Analysis to Support Inclusive Programming
- CEPPS utilizes a joint gender assessment whenever possible for its projects, focusing on the gendered experiences of different groups of women in a country. By integrating a data-driven, gender-informed and inclusive approach early on, we are better positioned to carry out initiatives that are responsive to the realities of local stakeholders and more fully and meaningfully achieve project objectives.
- In August 2020, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) released its draft 2020 Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Policy and invited relevant stakeholders to submit public comments on its content. Based on our significant experience promoting gender equality worldwide in partnership with USAID, IFES submitted comments on the draft policy.
Ensure Gender Equality in Online Spaces
- Gender plays an important role in disinformation campaigns and impacts individuals, communities and democracies. Watch IFES’ recent webinar on “Gender Dimensions of Disinformation in Elections, Politics and the Digital Information Space.”
- IFES believes that violence against women in elections (VAWE) is a threat to the integrity of the electoral process and to the quality of democracy. We work to eradicate VAWE through cutting-edge research products, legal strategies and digital initiatives.
Published on March 8, 2021.