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Secretary-General’s message for International Women’s Day 2017

8 March 2017
Statement by: Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, The Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC
Theme: “Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50:50 by 2030”

Our Commonwealth commitment for International Women’s Day 2017 is to continue as pioneers in the forefront of changing thinking and attitudes towards gender equality, and on practical action to achieve fully the economic and social inclusion of women and girls.

International Women’s Day 2017 is being celebrated as we complete twelve months of celebrating ‘An Inclusive Commonwealth’, and our focus for the year ahead shifts to ‘A Peace-building Commonwealth’.

The foundations of inclusiveness, and equality of opportunity, with respect for the dignity of each individual regardless of gender or any other identity, empower us to build peace in our homes, without which there can be no lasting peace or respect in our communities or the wider world.

Our Commonwealth Charter declares: ‘Gender equality and women’s empowerment are essential components of human development and basic human rights. The advancement of women’s rights and the education of girls are critical preconditions for effective and sustainable development’.

Throughout this month of March, our Commonwealth priority is tackling the scourge of domestic violence. ‘Peace in the Home’ is vital to the safety and wellbeing of women and girls, and ending the mental and physical suffering and pain that limit opportunity and fulfilment.

Together in the Commonwealth as women, as men, as human beings of every age and identity, we commit ourselves to the pledge of ‘Planet 50:50 by 2030’.