March 8, 2013 in MDG 3 (Gender Equality)
Today is International Women’s Day, first celebrated in 1975. It is a day to celebrate the achievements of women, but also a day of reflection when we can contemplate what remains to be done. While there have been many improvements for women in recent decades, there are still significant problems. The UN theme of the day this year is:
‘A promise is a promise. Time for action to end violence against women.’
As Ban Ki-Moon reminds us in his statement, we have witnessed several horrific acts of violence against women this past year. This problem is not isolated to any one segment of people. It is an issue that permeates the world, and also one that has a strong effect on youths. Rape, domestic violence, assault, sexual trafficking, and genital mutilation are just a few examples of the problems girls and young women face. Violence against women occurs in every country to varying degrees. It is time we all stand together, women and men, and make it clear that this cannot be tolerated.
The UN estimates that up to 50% of sexual assaults occur to girls under sixteen, over 100 million girls have experience genital mutilation, and 60 million girls under eighteen are child brides. Overall, 7 in 10 women worldwide reporting having experienced some form of violence against them in their lifetimes. 
In addition to violence, women also experience barriers to education and limited economic opportunities. The current MDG regarding gender is ‘Promote gender equality and empower women.’ It focuses mainly on education and reducing the disparities between boys and girls in learning. They number of girls attending primary, secondary, and tertiary education has risen notably since 2000, in nearly all corners of the globe. 
This is good progress, but more needs to be done for women. Gender equality is a vital issue for global youth. What do you believe should be the next goal for women? Should we aim to reduce global violence against women? What gender equality issue do you feel is most important in your area?
Generation Development is committed to ensuring young voices around the globe are heard in the formation of the post-2015 agenda. Find out more about how to get involved here.
Gender equality is something we can achieve in our lifetimes! Let’s get our voices heard and ensure gender equality stays on the post-2015 agenda and addresses problems faced by young women all over the world.