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World Population Day – 11 July 2023

 What women and girls want matters.

They make up 49.7 per cent of the global population, yet women and girls are often ignored in discussions on demographics, with their rights violated in population policies. The result is a world that excludes and marginalizes half the population of the planet – a problem that will prevent all of us from experiencing a more prosperous, peaceful and sustainable future.

At the root of this problem is gender inequality. 

This pervasive injustice keeps women and girls out of school, the workforce and leadership positions; limits their agency and ability to make decisions about their health and sexual and reproductive lives; and heightens their vulnerability to violence, harmful practices and preventable maternal death, with a woman dying every two minutes due to pregnancy or childbirth.

When women and girls are empowered by societies to exert autonomy over their lives and bodies, they and their families thrive, as the UNFPA 2023 State of World Population report illustrates. The knock-on effect is a better, more inclusive world, equipped to deal with whatever demographic changes and challenges the future holds.

UNFPA brings its data, experience and stories to support women and girls around the world, and World Population Day gives us an opportunity to highlight the need to advance gender equality to help realize the dreams of all 8 billion of us on our planet. 

This process starts by listening to the voices of women, girls and other marginalized people and introducing laws and policies that enable them to exert their rights and make meaningful choices.

We must advance gender equality to create a more just, resilient and sustainable world. The creativity, ingenuity, resources and power of women and girls are fundamental to addressing demographic and other challenges that threaten our future, including climate change and conflict. Women play a powerful role in advancing consensus and building peace at all levels. Yet just six countries have 50 per cent or more women in parliament.

Too often, gendered economic barriers and challenges to women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights, including lack of access to contraceptives, prevent women from creating the families they want – representing a violation of their bodily autonomy that threatens our global future. Governments must fortify the rights of women and girls  to ensure a more inclusive and resilient global population. 

The bottom line: Investing in gender equality today is an investment in our shared future. 

Source: Text:    Image: National Today

World Population Day reminds us that a truly inclusive Canada is one where persons with disabilities are embraced as integral members, enhancing the fabric of our diverse nation.

World Population Day, celebrated on July 11th, is an opportunity to recognize the diversity and value of every individual in society. This year, we shine a spotlight on persons with disabilities in Canada, highlighting their remarkable contributions and advocating for equal opportunities and inclusion. It is a time to celebrate their strengths, talents, and resilience, and to promote a society that embraces diversity and removes barriers that hinder their full participation.

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World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought – 17 June 2023

Her Land. Her Rights.  

“Women are major actors in the global efforts to reduce and reverse land degradation. However, in the vast majority of countries, women have unequal and limited access to and control over land. We cannot achieve land degradation neutrality without gender equality, and we cannot exclude half the population from land management decisions because of their gender. » – Ibrahim Thiaw, UNCCD Executive Secretary 

Women hold a vital stake in the health of the land, yet they often don’t have control over it. In all parts of the world, women face significant barriers in securing land rights, limiting their ability to thrive and prosper. And when land becomes degraded and water is scarce, women are often the worst affected. Investing in women’s equal access to land and associated assets is a direct investment in their future and the future of humanity. It’s time for women and girls to be at the forefront of global land restoration and drought resilience efforts. 

A launch pad for an ambitious women’s land rights agenda 

The global focus for the 2023 Desertification and Drought Day is on women’s land rights— essential for achieving the interconnected global goals on gender equality and land degradation neutrality by 2030 and contributing to the advancement of several other Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  

The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) will reaffirm its commitment to gender equality with these Desertification and Drought Day 2023 objectives:   

  • Raise awareness of the disproportionate impact of desertification, land degradation and drought on women and girls and the barriers they face in decision-making on land issues; 
  • Highlight women’s contributions to sustainable land management and broader SDGs; 
  • Mobilize global support to advance land rights for women and girls around the world. 

This year’s global observance of Desertification and Drought Day will be held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, with events taking place in all parts of the world.  

Gender equality remains unfinished business  

According to UNCCD’s landmark study “The Differentiated Impacts of Desertification, Land Degradation and Drought on Women and Men,” gender equality remains unfinished business in every part of the world. Consider the following: 

  • Today, nearly half of the global agricultural workforce is female – yet less than one in five landholders worldwide are women. 
  • Women’s rights to inherit their husband’s property continue to be denied in over 100 countries under customary, religious, or traditional laws and practices. 
  • Globally, women already spend a collective 200 million hours every day collecting water. In some countries, a single trip to fetch water can take over an hour. 


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World Water Day – 22 March 2023

Accelerating change

World Water Day 2023 is about accelerating change to solve the water and sanitation crisis.

Dysfunction throughout the water cycle undermines progress on all major global issues, from health to hunger, gender equality to jobs, education to industry, and disasters to peace.

In 2015, the world committed to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 as part of the 2030 Agenda – the promise that everyone would have safely managed water and sanitation by 2030.

Right now, we are seriously off-track.

Billions of people and countless schools, businesses, healthcare centers, farms, and factories are being held back because their human rights to water and sanitation still need to be fulfilled.

There is an urgent need to accelerate change – to go beyond ‘business as usual.’

The latest data show that governments must work on average four times faster to meet SDG 6 on time, but this is not a situation that any single actor or group can solve.

Water affects everyone, so we need everyone to take action.

Did you know?

  • 1.4 million people die annually and 74 million will have their lives shortened by diseases related to poor water, sanitation and hygiene. (WHO 2022)
  • Today, 1 in 4 people – 2 billion people worldwide – lack safe drinking water. (WHO/UNICEF 2021)
  • Almost half of the global population – 3.6 billion people – lack safe sanitation. (WHO/UNICEF 2021)
  • Globally, 44 per cent of household wastewater is not safely treated. (UN-Water 2021)
  • Global water demand (in water withdrawals) is projected to increase by 55 per cent by 2050. (OECD 2012)


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International Women’s Day – 8 March 2022

Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow

Advancing gender equality in the context of the climate crisis and disaster risk reduction is one of the greatest global challenges of the 21st century.

Women are increasingly being recognized as more vulnerable to climate change impacts than men, as they constitute the majority of the world’s poor and are more dependent on the natural resources which climate change threatens the most.

At the same time, women and girls are effective and powerful leaders and change-makers for climate adaptation and mitigation. They are involved in sustainability initiatives around the world, and their participation and leadership results in more effective climate action.

Continuing to examine the opportunities, as well as the constraints, to empower women and girls to have a voice and be equal players in decision-making related to climate change and sustainability is essential for sustainable development and greater gender equality. Without gender equality today, a sustainable future, and an equal future, remains beyond our reach.

This International Women’s Day, let’s claim “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”.


Source: Text: United Nations  Image: Vector Stock


World Population Day – 11 July

Every year the world continues to get more and more crowded. While we’ve a tendency to pack ourselves into massive cities, and there are presently still long open stretches of countryside, every year that gets whittled away at more and more. The power and food needs of the world continue to place a greater and greater strain on our ability to meet them, and resources in general are becoming harder and harder to come by. World Population Day comes along each year to remind us that our present rate of population growth is unsustainable, and the present social and logistical issues we are experiencing to meet the demand of that population will only get worse if we don’t do something.

History of World Population Day
In 1987 there was an event called “Five Billion Day”, which recognized when the human population boiled over the 5 billion mark. Since then the United Nations Development Programme has been working to anticipate, support, and offset the needs of a rapidly growing population. The population had been deemed to be growing out of control, and an awareness was being spread about the need for family planning, ways to offset poverty, and the ability to ensure that proper maternal health was observed.

The existing strain of supporting our present population is already causing grievous crimes in the areas of human rights and gender equality. As more people come into an a world that’s already doing a poor job of taking care of its citizens, there are more and more of them coming vulnerable to human rights violations such as human trafficking and child labor. World Population Day reminds us that we are part of an ever growing world, and that to ensure there’s a great future ahead for any of us, there has to be a great future for all of us.

Source: Text: DAYSoftheYEAR, Image: Current Affairs 2017

World Day of Social Justice – 20 February

The 20th February every year is designated by the United Nations as the World Day of Social Justice, a day to recognise the ongoing importance of a principle that is central to all work towards  global peace and prosperity. Below is an excerpt about the significance of this day, from the United Nations:

Social justice is an underlying principle for peaceful and prosperous coexistence within and among nations. We uphold the principles of social justice when we promote gender equality or the rights of indigenous peoples and migrants. We advance social justice when we remove barriers that people face because of gender, age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture or disability.

For the United Nations, the pursuit of social justice for all is at the core of our global mission to promote development and human dignity. The adoption by the International Labour Organization of the Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization is just one recent example of the UN system’s commitment to social justice. The Declaration focuses on guaranteeing fair outcomes for all through employment, social protection, social dialogue, and fundamental principles and rights at work.

Source: Text: Justice, Ecology and Development Office, Archdiocese of Perth, Australia; Image:

International Women’s Day 2016 – 8 March

IWD2016_Banner_StepItUpMarch8March_RLB_0689_675x450-2The 2016 theme for International Women’s Day is “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality”. The United Nations observance on 8 March will reflect on how to accelerate the 2030 Agenda, building momentum for the effective implementation of the new Sustainable Development Goals. It will equally focus on new commitments under UN Women’s Step It Up initiative, and other existing commitments on gender equality, women’s empowerment and women’s human rights.

The official UN commemoration will take place in the Trusteeship Council at the UN Secretariat in New York City from 10 a.m.-12.45 p.m. It will consist of a series of musical performances and two panel discussions. The first, from 10-11.15 a.m., will reflect on what a gender-equal planet means and how to achieve it by 2030 by joining the efforts of the United Nations, governments, civil society and the private sector. For the second panel, entitled “The Push for Parity”, panelists will probe the progress made in achieving gender equality in the UN system, examine the challenges remaining and unpack how to mainstream gender perspectives from 11.15 a.m.–12.45 p.m. 

Also on 8 March, Deputy Executive Director Lakshmi Puri will ring the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange in New York at 9 a.m. Similar events will take place in 34 countries around the world as part of joint awareness-raising efforts with the Global Compact.
Around the world, UN Women is organizing International Women’s Day events in more than 40 countries, including: a friendly hockey match between a men’s and women’s team in Tanzania on 5 March; a march and cycling rally in New Delhi, India on 6 March; a festival with live musical and dance performances in Palestine on 8 March; marches, a football match and painting expositions across Albania from 5-8 March; and a women’s “run to Step It Up” in São Paulo, Brazil on 20 March—to name just a few.

Speeches and messages
UN Secretary-General’s message for 2016
“We have shattered so many glass ceilings we created a carpet of shards. Now we are sweeping away the assumptions and bias of the past so women can advance across new frontiers,” says UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in his message for International Women’s Day 2016.

UN Women Executive Director’s message for IWD 2016
“Each one of us is needed—in our countries, communities, organizations, governments and in the United Nations—to ensure decisive, visible and measurable actions are taken under the banner: Planet 50-50: Step It Up for Gender Equality,” says UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka in her message.
For International Women’s Day messages from the UN system, visit Women Watch.

– See more at:    Source: Text & Image: UN Women