The theme for International Women’s Day (8 March) is “Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change”
One of the ILO’s earliest priorities was adopting standards to protect women at work (Maternity Protection Convention, 1919, N. 3). In its Centenary, the promotion of women’s rights and equal opportunities is still at the heart of the ILO mandate.
In 2019, women and men still do not enjoy the same opportunities to be in the labour force. Significant gender gaps at work remain a reality in all regions and countries of the world. Emerging technologies are transforming the nature of human work and the skills needed.
One of the paths to gender equality in the world of work involves increasing investment in people’s capabilities (ILO Future of Work initiative). Lifelong learning can shape technological innovation to increase human potential. Women must grasp this opportunity. Technology-enabled jobs of tomorrow must embrace gender equality and diversity. Innovation and technology provide unprecedented opportunities, yet trends indicate a growing gender-based digital divide and women are under-represented in the fields of science, technology, engineering, mathematics and design. This prevents them from developing and influencing gender-responsive innovations to achieve transformative gains for society.
Inclusive innovation for social change and gender equality are fundamental tenets of the learning approach adopted by the International Training Centre of the ILO. Let’s celebrate International Women’s Day by pledging to redouble our efforts to offer ILO constituents the knowledge, tools and methods needed to take a quantum leap toward a more innovative and equitable world of work for women and men.
This year’s Gender Academy will include a specific focus in gender and innovation. To find out more, visit the ILSGEN 2019 calendar of capacity-building activities.