Statement on the UN’s 2017 International Women’s Day

Statement on the UN’s 2017 International Women’s Day

Today is the 2017 International Women’s Day.

This year’s theme at the United Nations is “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality.”

Approximately 50 percent of working age women are represented in the labor force globally, compared to 76 percent of men. Moreover, 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. Much of this imbalance is the result of local cultural and/or religious norms that devalue and disempower women. If we are to have sustainable development around the world, we must address these root causes in order to achieve gender equality in the world of work.

The United Nations observance on 8 March calls upon all member nations – including Iran – 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.

Women have always been a driving force for change in Iran. Over the years, they have stood side-by-side in our streets pushing for change for all Iran. And yet, our nation’s women have fewer legal rights and have to navigate outdated notions of a woman’s role imposed on them in order to do the same work as men. If Iran will every truly be free, it starts with creating true equality for her women. Indeed, I believe the future of Iran rests with our women and our youth.

God bless the women of Iran, today, and always.

Reza Pahlavi