#WeTheWomen

Campaign #WeTheWomen

Gender equality is not just a question of justice – it is also a matter of common sense. If women have equal rights and bear equal responsibility, there is less hunger and poverty in the world – and more stability. That is why #WeTheWomen seeks to strengthen the rights, resources and representation of women worldwide, because so far no country in the world has achieved full equality of men and women.

Women make up half of humankind. So it is just logical and fair that they should have half of the power and resources. However, the international community is far from having reached that point. Crises such as, most recently, the COVID-19 pandemic have revealed deep gender divides and set back gender equality by one generation. At the current pace, it will take us another 131 years to achieve full equality.

Excluding women is dangerous and expensive, because women have the knowledge, ideas and strength which our societies need in order to resolve the major global problems facing humankind. No society can afford to neglect that potential if it wants to progress.

#WeTheWomen

#WeTheWomen wants to make the voices of women and girls heard internationally. Their hopes, expertise and visions for a liveable future in equality must be heard. Their experience shows to which resistance we need to pay attention, and where we need structural changes in the international community in order to finally achieve gender equality.

#WeTheWomen is putting a focus on gender equality for the United Nations Summit of the Future in September 2024.

#WeTheWomen is thus part of a global movement for just and resilient societies.

Tell your story!

On the occasion of International Women’s Day on 8 March #WeTheWomen wants to highlight the potential of gender equality and describe ways for our societies to make the necessary changes happen. What are your experiences? What do you think needs to change? Share your story at #WeTheWomen.



Strong voices on #WeTheWomen

Svenja Schulze, Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development

Svenja Schulze

Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany

“I fight for gender equality and a feminist development policy every day because we cannot ignore the power, creativity and entrepreneurship of half of the population. Therefore, I support #WeTheWomen as we need to join forces and be loud, be seen and be active.”

Kristalina Georgieva

Kristalina Georgieva

Managing Director, International Monetary Fund (IMF)

“#WeTheWomen is important because empowering women promotes inclusive growth and stability. Let us continue to be champions for gender equality—in our institutions, in our member countries, and in our daily lives. We owe it to all the girls and women, and all the boys and men, on this planet!”

Bajabulile Swazi Tshabalala

Bajabulile Swazi Tshabalala

Senior Vice President, African Development Bank

“I am an enthusiastic proponent of the objectives of #WeTheWomen because every one of us matters.”

Jutta Urpilainen

Jutta Urpilainen

EU Commissioner for International Partnerships

“#WeTheWomen is about women in leadership positions using their platform to empower other women. I am using mine to step up the EU’s investment in global education, especially girls’ access to quality education.”

Anne Beathe Tvinnereim

Anne Beathe Tvinnereim

Minister of Development, Norway

“Gender equality is not a policy option. It is at the core of human rights.”

Sima Bahous

Sima Bahous

Executive Director of UN Women

“The past is full of examples of neglecting women; the present is filled with its consequences. The future must be focused on listening to, investing in, and including women.”

Yasmine Sherif

Yasmine Sherif

Executive Director of Education Cannot Wait

“#WeTheWomen means all of us. It is our collective commitment to empower women to advance, lead and succeed. We empower her through a quality education: to achieve the power of knowledge, the maturity of the heart and the confidence of the mind to steadfastly march forward towards her dreams and those of all women. The time has come and ”#WeTheWomen“ join others in clearing the path, right here and right now.”

Rebeca Grynspan

Rebeca Grynspan

Secretary-General, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)

“I really see, everywhere, young women coming through the ranks of politics, through the ranks of society, fighting for their rights, making a difference. So despite this very difficult moment for the world, I feel optimistic in my belief in the new generations.”

Laura Frigenti

Laura Frigenti

Chief Executive Officer, Global Partnership for Education

“To me, #WeTheWomen represents the transformative power of education in shaping future female leaders. It stands for our commitment to unlocking the potential of every girl to improve her own life and the future of her community, ensuring that education serves as the bedrock for gender equality and empowerment.”

Nardos Bekele-Thomas

Nardos Bekele-Thomas

CEO of the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD)

“#WeTheWomen symbolizes a commitment to addressing gender disparities, challenging stereotypes, and promoting a world where women's contributions are recognized, respected, and celebrated. It thereby promotes a culture of sisterhood, celebrating the achievements of women who came before us, yet reminding us to open the door for other young women coming after us.”

Yadir Salazar Mejía

Yadir Salazar Mejía

Colombian Ambassador to Germany

“With my daily work I want to set an example to motivate Colombian girls and women to gain more influence in the decision-making scenarios at bilateral and multilateral level.”

Heidy Rombouts

Heidy Rombouts

Director General of Development Cooperation at the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation

“I believe that women often inspire women – one great example being Ruth Bader Ginsburg who underscored that women belong in all places where decisions are being made.”

Strong women – strong societies

30 %

increase in agricultural yields thanks to equal access to agricultural inputs

Maternal mortality could be brought down by

2/3

if medical care for women improved

70 %

of health professionals worldwide are women

20 %

increase in likelihood of peace agreements being upheld if women are involved in negotiations


Better education

for women and girls reduces child marriages and unplanned pregnancies.



28 trillion US dollars

increase in global economic growth by 2025 if women enjoy equal participation

Further details

  • If women had the same access to agricultural inputs as men, yields could increase by up to 30 per cent.
  • Maternal mortality could be reduced by as much as two thirds if all women had the access to health care that the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends.
  • Women make up 70 per cent of all healthcare staff worldwide. Their expertise was indispensable for overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • When women are actively involved in peace processes, the probability that a peace agreement will last at least two years rises by 20 per cent. It is also more likely that agreements are implemented.
  • Child marriages and unplanned early pregnancies drop if women are educated. Education improves maternal and child health, and the nutrition and wellbeing of children.
  • A McKinsey Global Institute study (External link) has found that 28 trillion US dollars could be added to global economic growth by 2025 if women were to participate in the economy to the same extent as men.

Partnerships

We cannot achieve change on our own. German Development Minister Svenja Schulze is active in international alliances, for instance in Women Rise for All together with UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed, in order to strengthen feminist development policy worldwide together with other ministers, human rights activists and public figures. She is giving special attention to listening to the perspective of women from our partner countries.

For more information on the UN campaigns, visit

Latest news

Meeting in the margins of the Munich Security Conference (from left to right): Vera Songwe, Rebeca Grynspan, Svenja Schulze, Anne Beathe Tvinnereim and Yadir Salazar Mejía, with live video participation by Bajabulile Swazi Tshabalala in the background

At the Munich Security Conference in February 2024, Minister Svenja Schulze, Vera Songwe (Chair and Founder, Liquidity and Sustainability Facility), Rebeca Grynspan (Secretary-General, UNCTAD), Anne Beathe Tvinnereim (Minister of International Development, Norway), Yadir Salazar Mejía (Colombian Ambassador to Germany) and Bajabulile Swazi Tshabalala (Senior Vice President, African Development Bank) discussed the role of women in peace processes and confirmed their shared commitment to #WeTheWomen.

Svenja Schulze and Laura Frigenti

At their most recent meeting, which took place in Berlin in February 2024, Laura Frigenti (Chief Executive Officer, Global Partnership for Education) and Svenja Schulze exchanged ideas of ways in which education can contribute to gender equality.

As at: 07/03/2024