COMMENT | It’s now more than 100 years since the International Labour Organisation (ILO) first established standards on women in the workplace, focusing on maternity protection.
A century on, much has changed, and we can all point to women who are successfully making a living, carving out careers, doing well in business and taking up leadership positions.
International Women’s Day today should be the perfect occasion to celebrate this success and to look forward to a bright and prosperous future for all women who wish to work.
Unfortunately, the reality for so many women is different.
Covid-19 is partly to blame, amplifying pre-existing inequalities and often having a disproportionate impact on women’s employment. Women are also more at risk of being pushed out of jobs into the more precarious informal sector or work that matches neither their skills nor aspirations.
However, if we are to be honest, even before the pandemic hit, the situation was less than rosy.
Just over a year ago, before most of us had even heard of Covid-19, ILO’s flagship report ‘A Quantum Leap for gender equality for the future of work’ highlighted how progress in closing gender gaps had stalled, and ...