As we mark International Women's Day 2018, there remains much work to do on delivering transformative change towards gender equality - women and girls still have fewer opportunities, rights and freedoms than men and boys. Most importantly, gender equality will not be achieved without the involvement of men and boys to eliminate daily violence against women.
Walking the Talk
International Women's Day has marked the achievements and the plight of women for more than a century. We know that gender parity won't happen overnight. However, we have a very strong and growing global movement of advocacy, activism and support.
Today our actions have never been more important. Global governments, women's organisations, businesses, charities and individuals from all walks of life unite to transform this powerful momentum into action, to empower women in all areas and to celebrate all those who are working relentlessly to generate positive change.
Today is a reminder for women and men to stand up for the equality and freedom of women worldwide and to acknowledge their contributions to society.
"We unite to provide a global opportunity for participation by all people, especially by those whose voices are not often heard."
- The URI Preamble
We have achieved so much, yet recognize that we have lots of work to do if we are going to raise awareness of gender discrimination, pay disparity, sexual harassment, child marriage, abuse and exploitation, and promote participation of women in all walks of life.
As members of the United Religions Initiative, let us continue to create communities exemplary of the equitable participation of women and men.
"We practice equitable participation of women and men in all aspects of the URI."
- Principle 8 of the URI Charter
Through the power and determination of our Cooperation circles let us seize this moment to catalyze both the divine feminine and masculine energies, to accelerate gender parity towards a more thriving and vibrant society.
Thank you to all the women and men who are transforming the lives of women, today and every day.
Through the power of our Cooperation Circles, our interfaith unity, and our determination we can take a stand and ensure lasting behavioural changes to eliminate daily violence against women.
Kiran Bali, MBE JP
URI Global Council Chairperson