Organisation Internationale de Droit du Développement

Statement by the Director-General, Jan Beagle, on International Women's Day

Statement by the Director-General, Jan Beagle, on International Women's Day

Today, IDLO stands with our partners, colleagues, and friends in celebrating women and girls across the globe, and in highlighting this year’s International Women’s Day theme: “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world.”

The pandemic has exacerbated the staggeringly wide gap of injustice and inequality that women and girls face in all regions of the world. 

Women are disproportionately working in the sectors most at risk, the majority of jobs lost belong to women, and there has been an alarming rise in gender-based violence. 

At the same time, the crisis has also shone a spotlight on women’s leadership and courage.

Women make up 70% of workers in the health, social service and unpaid care sectors. They have been on the front lines. During the pandemic, women have provided essential justice services, including as judges, prosecutors, lawyers and paralegals. Women have continued their activities as peace-makers and peace-builders, as human rights defenders, and leaders in civil society.

Women have stood out as leaders in public service. Female heads of state and government have shown exceptionally effective and empathetic leadership.

At IDLO, we have put gender equality and women’s empowerment at the centre of our new Strategic Plan 2021-2024.

We are committed to reducing the justice gap for women and girls, through our research, policy advocacy and capacity development programmes around the world, with a focus on:

  • Advancing the elimination of discriminatory laws and practices and building gender-responsive legal, regulatory and policy frameworks; 
  • Combatting gender-based violence against women and girls in all its forms; and
  • Promoting women’s participation and leadership, including in the justice sector. 

Building back better can only happen if we build back in an equal way – promoting the human rights of all women and girls and their full advancement as equal members of society, everywhere.

Today, as IDLO celebrates the courage and achievements of women, we join the international community in calling for accelerated action to increase women’s access to justice and to advance the participation and leadership of women in shaping a more equal future.