The first International Women’s Day took place in 1911 and since then, this day has become an internationally established platform that can be used for the very different demands of achieving gender equality and which should bring into the view of the public those problems that affect women and girls, indirectly as well as directly.
SOS Children is committed to helping in many countries. Through targeted promotion measures and training programmes, counselling facilities, medical projects and publicity campaigns, we are committed to improving the place in society for women and girls, and to support single mothers and families threatened by poverty.
Although women’s emancipation became a hot topic for women in the UK and other Western countries many decades ago, inequality between the sexes continues to exist in many parts of the world. Latest figures show this quite clearly:
- three quarters of the world’s poorest people are female
- of the planet’s 875 million illiterate adults, two thirds are women
- there are over 110 million children not in school as they should be. Two thirds of these children are girls.
Equal access to education
Girls always have absolutely equal access to schools run by SOS Children's Villages, even in countries where it is not usually the case and parallel to this, girls' right to education is seen as an essential requirement for the development of society. SOS Children offers exactly the same educational opportunities to the girls in its care as the boys as well as making places available at its schools and nurseries on an equal basis to girls and boys from the local community.
International Women’s Day is the chance to draw attention to the discrimination that does occur in some countries and the opportunity to actively encourage others - individuals, organisations, companies and governments - to make a difference and improve the lives of all women and girls in all countries around the world.