Why International Women’s Day Isn’t Going Away

Why International Women’s Day Isn’t Going Away

For all the progress women have made, they are still a long way from true equality.

By Iliana Magra, The New York Times

LONDON — After a series of historic firsts and long-overdue breakthroughs, 2018 was called “the Year of the Woman.”

A record 36 women won seats in the United States House of Representatives in midterm elections in November. Ireland voted to repeal one of the world’s most restrictive abortion bans. Ethiopia appointed its first female president. And women in Saudi Arabia were not only allowed to attend a public soccer match for the first time, they were also permitted to drive legally.

But it was also the year when there were fewer female Republicans in the United States Senate than men named John in the same chamber.

International Women’s Day, observed on March 8, was made a public holiday in Berlin, the German capital, in January. It has always been a way to celebrate women’s achievements and to call attention to all the work still left to be done on a global scale. (The theme for 2019 is “Balance for Better”: seeking gender balance in the boardroom and elsewhere.)

In fact, more than 30 female leaders — past and present — recently warned in an open letter that progress was eroding, with Susana Malcorra, the former Argentine foreign minister, telling The Guardian that some countries led by “macho-type strongman” leaders are a factor.

It was a reminder that global gender parity still remained out of reach. View some numbers and great photos that tell the story here.