Zonta International statement on International Day of Peace 2021

The International Day of Peace is observed each year as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace. This year, the United Nations’ theme is “Recovering better for an equitable and sustainable world.”

The UN explains that as we heal from the COVID-19 pandemic, “we are inspired to think creatively and collectively about how to help everyone recover better, how to build resilience, and how to transform our world into one that is more equal, more just, equitable, inclusive, sustainable, and healthier.”

“Zonta International is dedicated to achieving peace because we cannot realize gender equality and the Sustainable Development Goals without it,” said Zonta International President Sharon Langenbeck. “Today, we call for an end to conflict and for the global community to work toward gender-inclusive solutions to the challenges facing our world today.”

Around the world, communities are suffering the effects of complex conflicts, humanitarian crises and the COVID-19 pandemic—which is hitting underprivileged and marginalized groups the hardest.

“Women are often the most impacted by these crises, bearing the brunt of conflict and paying a higher price of the devastation—from increased gender discrimination and violence, to the waning of gender-sensitive structures and programming,” UN Women said in a recent statement.

Though evidence proves that women’s participation in peace processes leads to lasting, positive peace, women are largely excluded from peacebuilding. The COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the full extent of gender inequality in conflict-affected areas and made gender-inclusive approaches even more vital.

Zonta International echoes the UN’s invitation to “celebrate peace by standing up against acts of hate online and offline, and by spreading compassion, kindness, and hope in the face of the pandemic, and as we recover.”