Written by Nadine LeBoeuf

This Tuesday, March 8 th , millions of people around the world will be celebrating International Women’s Day. According to the International Women’s Day website , this year’s theme is Break The Bias and will be focussing on diversity, equitability and inclusivity among all genders and freedom from judgement based on bias, stereotypes and discrimination. The first official International Women’s Day dates back to March 19 th , 1911 and was celebrated in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. It’s raison d’être has been linked to the suffragette and labour movements. It has grown to be an international affair and in some countries has been recognized as a public holiday. While International Women’s Day had been initially recognized in communist countries as a holiday, it was only in the 1970s and 1980s that the women’s group was joined by leftists and labour organizations to become activists for equal pay, subsidized child care, equal economic opportunity and equal legal rights. Progress in Gender Equality With all the progress made for women’s equality since the early 1900s, we still have a long way to go for gender equality and all that it encompasses. According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report (2021), we will not see complete gender equality in our lifetime, nor our children’s lifetime. In fact, the report forecasts it may take at least another 135.6 years. Though this may seem like a long way away in terms of developed countries, the forecast does include the entire globe and is based on economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment. The report is based on 153 countries and so far only a quarter has achieved gender equality. The countries leading the pack are Iceland, Norway, Finland and Sweden. Globally the average parity is at 68%. The largest gender gap disparity is in Political Empowerment at only 22% followed by Economic Participation and Opportunity at 58% then Educational Attainment, and Health and Survival at 95% and 96%, respectively. We should not feel discouraged by these numbers, whether it’s creating a work environment where women can thrive or demolishing the barriers to industries long held by men, women are getting the recognition they deserve and for good reason. Women are problem solvers, innovators and caretakers of the Earth and fellow humans. International Women’s Day and the Spirit of SustainabilityIt wasn’t until 1975 that the United Nations began celebrating International Women’s Day. With

the adoption of this day, the UN has presented each year with a theme to explore for the
purpose of creating change and education on the effects of inequality and discrimination not
only from the impacts felt by women but also the impact on various levels socially,
technologically, economically, legally, ecologically and politically for all human beings. While the
IWD website may be promoting #BreaktheBias, the UN’s theme of ‘Gender Equality Today for a
Sustainable Tomorrow’ identifies the effects climate change has on women and steps we can
take to equalize opportunities and improve the health of women and of the planet.
According to information from the United Nations, since women make up the majority of the
world’s poor, they experience a higher impact than men due to the climate crisis in areas of
social, economic and cultural standings. For example, disproportionate figures on the world’s
food production are that 50-80% of food production is done by women yet women own less than
10% of the land the food is produced on. Other alarming indicators of a worsening climate is the
negative impact it has on women where in situations of displacement due to forest fires,
drought, flooding, and other climate change phenomenon has shown an increase in the rate of
gender-based violence, child marriage, increased infant mortality, increased risk of sexually
transmitted infections such as HIV and lack of access to contraceptives.
Through empowering women, we are helping to lift her and her family out of poverty and aid in
the implementation of sustainable practices for the betterment of the planet. Many of these
barriers of entry can be eliminated by giving women the right to own land, to earn equal and fair
wages to their male counterparts and the right to own their own businesses. For the most part,
the disparity of education between genders is negligible and what really makes the difference is
to increase female representation in senior political roles and change economic policies so
women can be in charge of their earnings and be justly compensated in the process of
improving the health of the planet.
Many gender-responsive projects and plans have been put in place to address the effects of
climate change on women since it disproportionately affects them, and include women as
important agents and leaders of change. Programs like the Lima work programme and the office
of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human rights, emphasize how imperative it is to
take action on the advancement of women especially when it comes to climate change and how
its devastating effects negatively impact their quality of life. By recognizing these effects, we are
able to address root causes and create solutions which benefit not only women, but their
surroundings and families.
If you would like to learn more about the impact of climate change on women and children or
how you can make a change, you can click on the link to be directed to a free online course
created by the United Nations.
Sources: nas ssion.docx #breakthebias #internationalwomensday @internationalwomensday_global @unitednations @unitednationshumanrights @unwomen

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Andrea Welling

Regional Director, BC


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Helping entrepreneurs connect with valuable resources in the entrepreneurship community is one of my passions. In addition, I strongly believe in the power of mentorship to support new ventures to be able to build confidence to go to their next level. For existing businesses struggling to scale, mentorship provides another invaluable perspective and a way to broaden the entrepreneur’s skillset.

For more information about Futurpreneur Canada or to learn more about entrepreneurship, please contact Andrea at [email protected].

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Manuel Banales



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I was born and raised in Mexico, where I studied law in Guadalajara, Jalisco. This permitted me to become aware of the fact that business relationships are what makes up most of organized society. My passion is to create businesses catered to the current demand of society. However, my biggest passion is to create healthy and diverse businesses by always maintaining the customer as my number one priority.

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