8 March - International Women's Day
Ljubljana, 7 March 2014 – Tomorrow, we celebrate International Women's Day. This year's official UN theme is Equality for Women Is Progress for All. Although we have been celebrating this international day for more than one hundred years, and despite significant progress on gender equality and the empowerment of women, women around the world still face discrimination, violence, unequal opportunities in education and participation in society. Actual participation and the equality of women, who account for half the world's population, brings progress to society as a whole. To achieve this through promotion of gender equality, Slovenia is active in its foreign policy activities in international organisations, bilateral relations with states and local development projects.
International Women's Day celebrates the social, political and economic achievements of women, while focusing world attention on areas requiring further action.
Women make up half the world's population, so their suggestions must be taken into consideration. This would benefit society gains as a whole. By eliminating gender inequalities, providing good-quality education and raising the awareness of women and girls, including human rights education, we will provide for the social and economic empowerment of women. This will reduce poverty in general and improve life for all in all areas. In this way, women will be enabled to participate equally and fully play their role in society: in politics, business, decision making, peace-making, rule of law and at the local level etc. Society needs the equal participation of women.
To achieve all this, it is essential to encourage the adoption and implementation of equitable laws, eliminate discrimination against women and girls in law and in practice, and eliminate structural obstacles that hinder progress in this area. The cooperation of men and boys is crucial to all these endeavours.
At the next session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women between 10th and 21st March 2014 in New York, particular attention will be given to challenges and achievements in implementing the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls. Too many aspects of the third Millennium Development Goal, dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women, have not been achieved yet. A plan for more effective implementation will be needed in the preparation of the post‑2015 development framework. Attention will also be devoted to achieving the goals adopted at the 4th World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995. The commitments made in those documents, adopted 20 years ago, have still to be fulfilled, which is also true of the commitments in the documents of the UN Conference on Population and Development held in Cairo in 1994, which have also contributed significantly to strengthening the status of women.