On 8 March, International Women’s Day, we celebrate all of the advances we have made in achieving gender equality across all spectrums. “Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change”, is the motto chosen by UN Women to celebrate this day as a movement that brings visibility to the impact that women have in social innovation, and the actions that local governments are taking on a daily basis to ensure that no one and no place are left behind.
Gender equality begins by ensuring that the needs and experiences of women and girls are being effectively integrated into every society. As UCLG we demand the Right to the City be a reality for all women.
On this International Women’s Day, we imagine a city where all women enjoy absolute Right to the City, as deserved by every human being. A city that guarantees equal access to public services, taking into account the needs of women to safe and quality public transportation for example. A CITY in which all women have access to healthcare, to the environment, to water, education, decent work, and equal pay for equal working conditions.
A CITY with equal cultural opportunities, where SDG 5 is lived and breathed in everyday life so that sustainable development can be achieved.
Local and Regional Governments play a fundamental role when it comes to decision making, to guaranteeing equality, to ensuring cities of peace, cities free of violence, by allowing women to access and enjoy public spaces, so that their voice and participation can be strengthened, and heard, by all.
Cities are the spaces in which equal access to fair and adequate housing for women must be ensured, where local actors work tirelessly to recognize and seek to develop public policy that ensures the most vulnerable citizens are considered and cared for by all.
For these reasons, among many more, we share the spirit of the Manifesto for Women’s Right to the City launched by the Global Platform for the Right to the City, to better understand what measures need to be supported so that we achieve this right in every territory for every woman and girl to have an active and decisive role in all societies across the globe. This all begins by imagining a society in which women are guaranteed equal inclusion in politics, so that they may lead their communities in decision making on social inclusion, politics, culture, economics and everyday life.
Only through full realization of Women’s Right to the City will we truly see sustainable cities. We have a date on this International Women’s Day to ensure that sustainable development will be reached via a process in which all persons, regardless of gender, enjoy equal rights and the opportunity to prosper. For in the end, each of us plays a fundamental role in achieving gender equality: and for that reason we call upon men and boys from all backgrounds to commit to social equality, to fight against gender inequalities and to defend the human rights of all women and girls.