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What Does ‘Equality’ Mean on International Women’s Day?

On International Women's Day 2016, Women Deliver Young Leaders share what "equality" means to them:

“In 2014, I shared a picture with some of the Nigerian adolescent girls I work with of a female Civil Engineer in her bright orange overalls, deeply engrossed in a building project with her all-male-but-one team. The girls cringed. They all thought it was a ‘weird’ place for a young woman to be. To my mind, equality means that this table of ‘weirdness’ is flipped, and all members of my society cringe instead at the absence of women across several socio-economic spaces.” –Olaoluwa Abagun

“Equality means to me recognizing and embracing diversity. Equality not only means that opportunities should be available to everyone; it means that everyone can have the chance to develop their potential.” –Génesis Luigi

“As a young leader and an advocate for sexual and reproductive health and rights, equality to me means that: girls and women have access to quality sexual and reproductive health services; that they enjoy the right to choose when and whether to have children and get married; and that education and training is prioritized among girls to enable them access to opportunities in social-economic sectors for sustainable development.” –Mark Gachagua

“To me, equality underscores the fact that men and women as intrinsic human beings have the same opportunities and human rights. Equality stresses the truth that no one of them is supposed to deprive the other of these rights and opportunities. Let’s play a little with the word equality: take out the ‘e’ in equality and you have ‘quality.’ It means men and women have the same standards, and the standard of measurement is that they are all human beings.” –Desmond Atanga

“For me, equality means treating everyone with fairness and respect, and recognizing the needs of individuals. All humans enjoy the same rights, resources, opportunities, and protections. It is about knowing your daughters and sons can realize any dream.” –Mohamed Amri

“On IWD, equality means enabling women earn as much salary as their male counterparts and giving them opportunity to grow and fulfill their potentials.” –Nnamdi Eseme

“Equality means a humility, compassion, hope and justice. It is a system in which humans live loving and respective each other without any sort of bias.” –Luiz Bispo

“My personal view and definition for ‘equality’ is equal rights and accessibility to services and basic human needs, regardless of age, gender, sexuality, religion and race.” –Andrew Tabel

“On International Women’s Day, equality means paying attention to the women of the past, who stood up against discrimination and demanded equal rights. It is about glimpsing the future generation exercising freedom, free from violence and discrimination. These ignite the fire in today’s youth to call for and work towards parity in all aspects of development, including gender.” –Jonathan Monis

“The rights of women should be the same as of men and no one has the right to suppress her.” –Muhammad Khalid Rao

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