ZONTA Rose Day is celebrated along with International Women's Day as a time to reflect and give tribute to the women who have empowered you. Officially recognized by the United Nations in 1977, International Women's Day first emerged from the activities of labor movements at the turn of the twentieth century in North America and across Europe. 1
This year's theme of the international women's day is: #ChooseToChallenge
"A challenged world is an alert world. Individually, we're all responsible for our own thoughts and actions - all day, every day. We can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women's achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world. From challenge comes change, so let's all choose to challenge." 2
What does the e-club Bavaria #choosetochallenge?
The year 2021 is the second year in a global pandemic, which revealed just how hard women are affected by the current situation. With the rise of gender-based violence because of home isolation that threatens women's wellbeing and the increased poverty and unemployment due to the economic consequences of the pandemic, women have greatly felt and suffered these inequalities in the past year.
However, it is vital to highlight the achievements of women and girls around the world who have made tremendous contributions during the ongoing crisis. Women make up 70% of health and social care workers. This puts them at the heart of COVID-19 response, even though they are often underrepresented in decision-making and leadership. A prominent female figure that has given millions of people hope for a life after the pandemic is the co-founder of the biotechnology company BioNTech, Özlem Türeci, who developed the first approved RNA-based vaccine against COVID-19. 3
In 2021, virus mutations are spreading quickly and women are facing longer home isolation in unsafe and violent environments. One initiative to give women the opportunity to seek help is the "Maske 19" action by the Union of German Zonta Clubs. When visiting medical facilities, women can mention the codeword "Maske 19" and pharmacists or staff in doctor's offices or clinics will immediately notify police. 4
Reports show that the pandemic affects women's economy more harshly, as they generally earn less, save less, hold less secure jobs and are more likely to work in the informal sector. The true impact of this ongoing crisis cannot yet be foreseen. The situation is even more dire in developing economies, where 70% of women are employed in the informal sector with few protections against dismissal or paid sick leave. 5 The pandemic has also intensified challenges that women already face in the workplace. As educational institutions are closed, working mothers need to balance child care and working from home at the same time. Due to challenges created by the pandemic, women are taking a leave of absence or leaving the workforce altogether at higher rates than men. As a consequence of this forced leave, fewer women are in positions of leadership—and far
fewer women are on track to be future leaders. This means that the progress of gender equality in leadership positions, recorded in recent years, would be erased. 6
Zonta international has recently called to action, by underlining that more women need to move into leadership positions where they can influence and change policies and laws to ensure an equitable and sustainable recovery that benefits women and men, girls and boys. Furthermore, in the statement to the 65th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women, Zonta emphasizes the need of guaranteeing adequate and equal remuneration for women’s work and equal access to social services and protection policies. 5
Along with International Women's Day, Zonta Rose Day is also celebrated on 8th of March not only as a time to reflect on past women's challenges and achievements, but also to give tribute to the women who have empowered you personally. To make a tribute gift, please follow the guide on www.zonta.org/donate !
Zonta Rose Day 2021 https://members.zonta.org/roseday
International Women's Day https://www.internationalwomensday.com/
Women and Girls in Science during the pandemic https://www.unwomen.org/en/news/stories/2021/2/compilation-women-in-science-leading-during-the-pandemic
Initiative "Maske 19" Union of German Zonta Clubs https://zonta-union.de/node/14563/
Women in the Workplace Report https://internationalwomensday.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/resources/IWD-WomenInTheWorkplace-report.pdf