International Women’s Day 2022: “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”


Esma Goglidze. Photo: UN Women/Justyna Mielnikiewicz
Esma Goglidze. Photo: UN Women/Justyna Mielnikiewicz

The theme for International Women’s Day, 8 March 2022 (IWD 2022), is “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”, recognizing the contribution of women and girls around the world, those leading the charge on climate change adaptation, mitigation and response in order to build a more sustainable future for everyone.

Advancing gender equality in the context of the climate crisis and disaster risk reduction is one of the greatest global challenges of the 21st century. The issues of climate change and sustainability have had and will continue to have severe and lasting impacts on our environment, as well as our economic and social development. Those who are amongst the most vulnerable and marginalized experience the deepest impacts. Women are increasingly being recognized as more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change than men – critically, they constitute the majority of the world’s poor and are more dependent on the natural resources that climate change threatens the most.

At the same time, women and girls are effective and powerful leaders and change-makers for climate adaptation and mitigation. They are involved in sustainability initiatives around the world, and their participation and leadership results in more effective climate action. Continuing to examine the opportunities, as well as the constraints, that empower women and girls to have a voice and be equal players in climate change and sustainability decision-making is essential for sustainable development and greater gender equality. Crucially, without gender equality today, a sustainable and equal future remains beyond our reach.

The United Nations Observance of International Women’s Day, under the “Equality today for a sustainable tomorrow” theme, will be marked by a high-level virtual (TBC) event on Tuesday 8 March 2022, at 10am–11.30pm EST. The Secretary-General of the United Nations, the President of the General Assembly, the Chair of the Commission on the Status of Women, the Executive Director of UN Women, as well as gender equality and climate change activists alongside various celebrities will all participate in the event. This will be followed by a high-level panel discussion and musical performances.

The theme for International Women’s Day is aligned with the priority theme for the upcoming 66th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW66): “Achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls in the context of climate change, environmental and disaster risk reduction policies and programmes.”