Published:  12:00 AM, 08 March 2017

‘Women in the changing world of work’


The 2017 theme for International Women's Day, 8 March, focuses on "Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030". The world of work is changing, with significant implications for women. On one hand, technological advances and globalization bring unprecedented opportunities for those who can access them. On the other hand, there is growing informality of labour, income inequality and humanitarian crises. See the flyer and RSVP for the official UN commemoration of the International Women's Day"

Against this backdrop, only 50 per cent of working age women are represented in the labour force globally, compared to 76 per cent of men. What's more, an overwhelming majority of women are in the informal economy, subsidizing care and domestic work, and concentrated in lower-paid, lower-skill occupations with little or no social protection. Achieving gender equality in the world of work is imperative for sustainable development.

The United Nations observance on 8 March will call upon all actors to Step It Up for Gender Equality towards a Planet 50-50 by 2030 by ensuring that the world of work works for all women.The upcoming sixty-first session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW61), from 13 - 24 March, at UN Headquarters will deliberate on "Women's economic empowerment in the changing world of work."

Message by UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka on International Women's Day "We want to construct a different world of work for women. As they grow up, girls must be exposed to a broad range of careers, and encouraged to make choices that lead beyond the traditional service and care options to jobs in industry, art, public service, modern agriculture and science..."

Changing world, changing work The world of work is changing fast, through innovation, increasing mobility and informality. But it needs to change faster to empower women, whose work has already driven many of the global gains in recent decades. Women still predominantly occupy jobs that pay less and provide no benefits.  They earn less than men, even as they shoulder the enormous-and economically essential-burden of unpaid care and domestic work.

Realizing women's economic empowerment requires transformative change so that prosperity is equitably shared and no one is left behind. The international community has made this commitment in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Every woman should enjoy her right to decent work. As a global champion for gender equality and women's empowerment, UN Women asks: What do we need to get there?

International Women's Day 2017 Join UN Women on International Women's Day as we put a spotlight on women in the changing world of work.

What is the real value of unpaid work?

Around the world, women do the vast majority of the unpaid work, including child care, cooking, cleaning and farming. This unpaid work is essential for households and economies to function, but it is also valued less than paid work. UN Women expert Shahra Razavi reveals the real value of unpaid care, and how we can reduce the burden on women by tackling entrenched stereotypes.

What does the data say? Globalization, digital innovations, and rapid advances in communication technologies pitted against climate change, economic inequality, and humanitarian crises, among other factors, continue to transform the world in which we work - posing both challenges as well as opportunities in realizing women's economic potential for a better tomorrow. Below, explore just some facts on where women stand today in the changing world of work. To explore some facts on where women stand today in the changing world of work.

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