International Women’s Day 2021

International Women's Day 2021. Credit: UN Women/Yihui Yuan.
Graphics: UN Women/Yihui Yuan.

Statements | Events | Highlights | Voices | Joint collaborations | Social media

Women stand at the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis, as health care workers, caregivers, innovators, community organizers and as some of the most exemplary and effective national leaders in combating the pandemic. The crisis has highlighted both the centrality of their contributions and the disproportionate burdens that women carry.

This year’s theme for the International Day, "Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world" celebrates the tremendous efforts by women and girls around the world in shaping a more equal future and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is also aligned with the priority theme of the 65th session of the Commission on the Status of Women, "Women's full and effective participation and decision-making in public life, as well as the elimination of violence, for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls” and the flagship Generation Equality campaign, which calls for women’s right to decision-making in all areas of life, equal pay, equal sharing of unpaid care and domestic work, an end all forms of violence against women and girls, and health-care services that respond to their needs.

See our coverage of the International Women’s Day from previous years:

Asia-Pacific | 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016

HQ | 2021, 2020, 2019,2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012


UN Secretary-General's message for International Women's Day 2021

In his statement for International Women's Day, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres highlighted the need to work together with vision and determination to make equality happen. Read more


Statement by Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Women Executive Director, on International Women’s Day 2021

In her statement for International Women's Day (8 March), UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka said: "We need women’s representation that reflects all women and girls in all their diversity and abilities, and across all cultural, social, economic and political situations. This is the only way we will get real societal change that incorporates women in decision-making as equals and benefits us all." Read more

Events in Asia-Pacific

Regional Commemoration: International Women's Day

UN Women Asia and the Pacific and UNESCAP jointly organized the Asia-Pacific Regional Commemoration of International Women’s Day 2021, which focused on highlighting the ways in which women leaders were able to bring to bear their different experiences, perspectives and skills to the table, and make irreplaceable contributions to decisions, policies and laws, to ensure that they work better for all.


UN Women and ASEAN

Two events organized with ASEAN. Advancing WPS in ASEAN: UN Women has secured funding in the amount of CAD 8.5 million from Canada for a five-year regional programme, “Empowering women for sustainable peace: preventing violence and promoting social cohesion in ASEAN” (Advancing WPS in ASEAN) covering the period from 2021-2025.

Online Launch of the ASEAN Gender Outlook: Achieving the SDGs for all and leaving no woman and girl behind. The ASEAN Gender Outlook is the first regional ASEAN flagship publication based on multiple deprivation analysis jointly produced by the ASEAN Committee on Women (ACW), the ASEAN Secretariat (ASEC) and UN Women



3 March 2021 | Women in leadership: Achieving an Equal Future in a COVID-19 World. A panel discussion at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Thailand | More photos | Recorded Facebook live |
8 March 2021 | Women leaders changing social norms: A conversation on building a more equal world organized by the Embassy of France in Thailand, the Embassy of Mexico in Thailand, Alliance Francaise de Bangkok and UN Women Asia-Pacific | More photos | Recorded Facebook live |

Joint collaboration with other UN agencies in Asia-Pacific

Shining the spotlight on inspirational women...

UNOPS in Asia-Pacific

On International Women’s Day 2021, UNOPS – supported by UN Women – presents an online gallery to highlight women leaders in the Asia-Pacific region and their response to COVID-19 pandemic. The page shines a light on the critical role of women’s leadership, approaches and skill sets that have proven to be effective in times of crisis. Read more


WHO South-East Asia

On #InternationalWomensDay, the World Health Organization acknowledges the crucial role played by women in leadership roles and as healthcare and frontline workers in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Video: WHO South-East Asia (SEARO) View more


Social media