International Women’s Day 2018

March 8th is the International Women’s Day (IWD), a day to celebrate and empower women by reflecting on progress made in education, economics, politics, business, and many other aspects of society and calling for more changes to take a bigger step closer to gender parity. The Ban Ki-moon Centre works for empowering women as global citizens within the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals.

“Women hold up more than half the sky and represent much of the world’s unrealized potential. They are the educators. They raise the children. They hold families together and increasingly drive economies. They are natural leaders. We need their full engagement … in government, business and civil society,” said former UNSG Ban Ki-moon.

Though there have been significant improvements achieved, unequal treatments and norms against women in different places still continue to exist. Such restrictions emasculate women, and it requires efforts from all people regardless of their gender and synergy from varied organizations, institutes, governments, and media to make further changes. It is not solely women’s or a single entity’s responsibility to make a progress, but everyone’s as a world-renowned feminist journalist and social and political activist

Gloria Steinem points out, “The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights.”

Following the #PressforProgress campaign by the IWD, Women at the UN – Accountability Buddy Network (WUNABN) hosted a conference in Vienna, Austria today to actively engage women in exchanging their experiences of achieving gender parity and to give out practical know-hows on job applications, interviews, and how to find the right path in their career plan. Find more information on their website:

The IWD thus brings everyone, every entity, and every country together to celebrate the day and to make a progress from individual level to governmental and from local level to global. As the world has witnessed empowerment being contagious with butterfly effect for the past century, one can hope that soon the IWD will be celebrated with reflections on achievements without any need for a call to action. Watch the UN Women’s inspirational video on International Women’s Day 2018: “The Time is Now” here:


Photo: UN Photo by Ky Chung

Online course with Ban Ki-moon and Heinz Fischer on the SDGs

Our co-chairmen Ban Ki-moon and Heinz Fischer teach an online course on Coursera, and now registered students can access the videos and readings. Anyone from any part of the world interested in familiarizing themselves with the UN’s 2030 Agenda for sustainable development is invited to take the lectures. Throughout 7 weeks, students will be directed to learn about the SDGs through five foundations: people. planet, prosperity, peace & partnership, and youth & SDG implementation. These interconnected foundations then will lead students to tackle problems and encourage them to make changes and take part in integrating the SDGs in all countries.

Following the introductory session for the 17 goals of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, every week there are 8 to 13 lecture videos along with 5 to 8 readings to complete. Weekly quizzes and the final project will be graded if one decides to take the course whereas auditing the course is also an option. Check out the course on Coursera and register now.

Photo: Porapak Apickodilok