8 March 2018
The Socialist International today celebrates International Women's Day, in recognition of the continuing struggle for women's rights around the world. International Women's Day is of particular significance for the SI, as it was first marked as a result of a resolution of the Second International Conference of Socialist Women on the occasion of the 1910 Copenhagen International Socialist Congress. The cause of women's rights has been at the heart of the global socialist and social democratic movement since its inception, and remains key to its agenda to this day.
Since the establishment of International Women's Day, a great deal of progress has undeniably been made in the pursuit of gender equality. Women have served at the highest level of elected office in many countries and have more opportunity than ever in large parts of the world when it comes to education and employment. Nonetheless, the objective of equality of women in government and society is yet to be achieved, as it is still the case that women are on average paid less than men for equivalent work, and are underrepresented at the highest levels of business and politics. It is therefore not enough to point to past achievements, but necessary to strive to address the structural and systematic injustices that continue to place half of the world's population at an unfair and unjustifiable disadvantage from the moment they are born.
Furthermore, the revelations that have come during the last year of countless incidents of sexual harassment and discrimination against women in the workplace across all industries, including politics, demonstrate that sexism, exploitation and sexual violence remain a serious problem. Such behaviour can never be justified, and the Socialist International stands in solidarity with all victims of workplace harassment and discrimination and committed to ensuring that this issue is not overlooked or forgotten. The only acceptable outcome is long-lasting change and the eradication of sexism and sexual harassment.
The Socialist International has a proud record of promoting and defending women's rights, both within the organisation and in its political work. On this International Women's Day we pay tribute to all the women working within our member parties and organisations to achieve equality for women and a brighter and more prosperous future for all.