While there has been progress in recent decades, women and girls around the world still do not fully enjoy equal rights and opportunities. Moreover, the social and economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and the backlash against abortion rights have reversed previous advances.
Violence against women remains endemic and goes well beyond the high-profile international cases (Iran, Ukraine, Afghanistan) that continue to make headlines. Meanwhile, gender discrimination and biases permeate every aspect of our societies, from education to health, business, to politics.
At this rate, the UN warns, it may take close to 300 years to achieve full gender equality on a global level. And if regular rankings may show strong disparities between countries and regions, let’s not fool ourselves—no country in the world is on track to achieve gender equality by 2030.
The news media plays a crucial role not only in denouncing attacks on women’s rights but also in highlighting new possible narratives and supporting the profound cultural shift needed for women to enjoy the right to live free from violence and discrimination. It starts with the news media giving the full picture. This means raising awareness about issues related to gender inequality, of course, but also including more voices and the perspectives of women wherever they are from, going beyond social and cultural stereotypes and showing how women can also be powerful agents of change.
This is why, to mark International Women’s Day, Sparknews is inviting 14 news outlets around the world to join forces to cover gender-based global issues and to focus on the women, men, NGOs, citizen movements and policies tackling the gender gap at their level, as well as the impact empowering women can have on wider issues. Stitched together, these initiatives, these stories show that gender equality should not remain a distant dream.