The COVID-19 pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on women, detrimentally impacting on the fight for gender equality. Across every sphere, from health to the economy, security to social protection, the impacts of COVID-19 are exacerbated for women simply by virtue of their sex. It has prompted a broad range of responses from governments, companies and individuals, with varying degrees of introspection, commitment, direct action, and virtue-signalling.
At the World Benchmarking Alliance, we recognise that gender equality is essential to achieve peaceful societies, with full human potential, and sustainable development. Through our Gender Benchmark, we measure how companies are driving and promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment across their value chain. Our Gender Baseline Report revealed just how far we have to go achieve gender parity – it demonstrated that gender data is invisible, with companies assessed disclosing not nearly enough information about their gender efforts, thereby hindering progress towards realising Sustainable Development Goal 5 and beyond.
Now more than ever, we need to take action to close the global gender gap and create a gender-equal world in which we can all thrive. We can do this by amplifying the voices of women, educating ourselves about the experiences of different genders, challenging the status quo, and speaking up where we see inequalities.
This International Women’s Day, we are joining the HeForShe movement by making a commitment to take action against gender bias, discrimination and violence, in order to bring the benefits of equality to everyone.
Commitments alone are not sufficient to make a change – actions must always follow. That is why we will continue to work to ensure that the women that are invisible in corporate value chain are made visible by holding the private sector to account with respect to their gender efforts through our Gender Benchmark.
In the fight for gender equality, every voice matters and can make a change. We call on you, whether an individual or an organisation, to join the movement and commit to take action against gender inequalities, to ensure that no one is left behind as we work towards creating a sustainable future for all.