International Women’s Day 2023: Embrace Equity
By David Hartingh, President and CEO
This week IESC celebrates International Women’s Day. This year’s theme, Embrace Equity, emphasizes that collective action is needed to forge positive change, while challenging us to reflect on how we can all embrace equity by creating inclusive work environments, organizations, communities, and, ultimately, a more inclusive world. It also highlights the need to challenge gender stereotypes, call out discrimination and bias, and embrace inclusion and diversity.
Globally, International Women’s Day is celebrated and supported by industry, governments, educational institutions, community groups, professional associations, and women’s networks, among others. It provides an important opportunity to celebrate women’s achievements, raise awareness, reaffirm IESC’s commitment to women’s equality, and take action to drive gender parity.
Each year, IESC commemorates International Women’s Day by honoring the accomplishments of our women program participants—from the agri-entrepreneurs in Kenya and Tanzania who are expanding their farms, increasing production, and creating jobs, to the enterprising women in Sri Lanka who are launching and growing their own small businesses, among many others. These women inspire and motivate us every day. They are also central to our efforts in achieving our vision of a world with economic opportunity for all, where people and communities thrive.
I’d also like to take this opportunity to recognize the immeasurable contributions of our brilliant and committed women staff, both in the home office and in our program offices worldwide, our partners, our talented volunteers and consultants, and of course our Board Members. Their exceptional skills and expertise, unwavering dedication, and deep passion for our work are critical to IESC achieving our mission: helping people improve their lives by catalyzing private sector growth and employment in the economically developing world.
At IESC, we believe that women are crucial in advancing sustainable economic growth. We also recognize that women and girls face unique barriers to accessing economic opportunity, and we therefore strive to incorporate gender considerations and women’s economic empowerment into the design and implementation of our programs. We consult with women’s groups to inform program design and actively seek out women’s organizations with which to partner. For every program, we conduct extensive local research and carry out in-depth gender analyses to develop tailored programmatic activities and gender-specific targets rooted in data and responsive to the local context. During program implementation, we disaggregate results by gender to ensure our activities are generating impact for women program participants. We also showcase women-focused stories, reinforcing the vital role that women’s economic empowerment plays in generating more inclusive economic growth for all.
We are proud to participate in this global event that honors the achievements of women and raises awareness about issues related to women’s equality. I invite you to check out our social media channels this week, where we will share stories that amplify women’s voices and highlight their achievements. We will also feature our program teams around the world and how they commit to embracing equity in pursuit of a more gender equal world. Thank you for joining us as we celebrate this important global event. #EmbraceEquity #IWD2023