What We're Talking About This Month - UNA-USA

What We’re Talking About This Month: November 2020

In November, we’re continuing to push for greater action in the fight for equality for girls and women. We’ve lost too much ground to stop fighting.

We know that equality is the birthright of every girl and woman on earth, but it isn’t her reality. Despite some progress, there is no place, no part of life where a girl or woman is equal to a boy or man. Earlier this year, the United Nations Foundation launched #EqualEverywhere, a campaign that galvanizes support, and drives greater and faster action on gender equality. The aim is to build, nurture, and mobilize communities of support for girls and women across and between countries, sectors and issues. We must not stop until girls and women are equal everywhere.

The United Nations Foundation also launched #UniteforHealth this year, a campaign that brings together people and partners everywhere to demand greater global cooperation and equity in health. #UniteForHealth also celebrates global champions, the majority of whom are women, working to defeat new challenges, protect progress, and strengthen health systems so they work for everyone everywhere. More than 30,000 people joined the initial call to #UniteForHealth after it launched during the UN General Assembly.

Here are three key points to know from the new World’s Women 2020 Trends and Statistics report:

  1. Health: Globally, only around 50% of women can make their own decisions on health care and contraceptive use, and can say no to sexual intercourse. The COVID-19 pandemic could leave significant numbers of women and couples without access to essential sexual and reproductive health care. In addition, women also comprise 69% of health professionals who are now on the front lines in the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic, facing a higher risk of infection than men in the workplace.
  2. Labor force: Globally, the gender gap in labor force participation remains very large. In 2020, men were much more likely (74%) than women (47%) to participate in the labor force in countries worldwide.
  3. Violence against women and the girl child: Because COVID-19 is interrupting programs to end female genital mutilation (FGM), progress may be threatened. According to UNICEF and WHO, at least 200 million girls and women have undergone FGM based on recent data from 31 countries.

Want to get involved? Here are some ideas.

  • Educate: Read the UN Secretary-General’s policy brief on the impact of COVID-19 and women.
  • Inspire: It’s been a hundred years since the 19th Amendment was adopted, and without transformative change, experts agree it will be another 100 years until women are truly equal everywhere. Read about seven inspiring women voting activists dedicated to democracy. We’ve also developed a toolkit to host a coffee chat on women’s suffrage.
  • Take Action:
      • Let the world know you stand with the changemakers working to ensure girls and women are #EqualEverywhere. Add your name to show your commitment to supporting full equality.
      • Share stories of champions who #UniteforHealth! Use the hashtag and your story might be featured! You can also use this toolkit as the campaign continues throughout the remainder of 2020.
      • Get involved in the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, kicking off on the International day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (25 November) through to Human Rights Day (10 December). Recently, UNA-USA Executive Director Rachel Bowen Pittman moderated a panel discussion with UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie, Representative Chrissy Houlahan (PA-06) and UNFPA’s Executive Director Dr. Natalia Kanem to call attention to gender-based violence, which surged during the #COVID19 pandemic.
      • Send a message to your elected officials to voice your support for the World Health Organization.

Events in November: