Insights and Analysis

Tweetchat Rallies Around Gender Equality for International Women’s Day

March 9, 2016

By Elizabeth Romanoff Silva

March 8 marked International Women’s Day, and to commemorate this year, The Asia Foundation’s Women’s Empowerment team hosted a tweetchat relay using the hashtag #IWDchat16, titled Advancing Gender Equality in 2016 and Beyond. We partnered with six other organizations and projects – USAID, World Vision, Promundo, Chemonics, USAID ASSIST, and Knowledge for Health – to highlight the progress being made toward achieving gender equality, to discuss continuing challenges, and to focus greater attention on the importance of empowering women and girls. With over 500 participants and over 2,100 tweets, the chat reached more than 4.1 million people representing activists and civil society as well as government, nonprofit and private organizations, and more.

The conversation covered diverse topics from how family planning can improve gender equality and using data to visualize gender gaps, to why including men and boys is essential and how empowering women is central to organizational effectiveness. During our half-hour segment, we posited to participants why gender equality is central to good governance through a series of five question and answers. Here are a few highlights from the chat.

In the lead- up to the chat, partners and contributors helped to spread the word by retweeting event graphics.

We kicked off our session asking people why gender equality is central to good governance.

We received some great answers, a few include:

We then moved on to examples of progress and opportunities.

One theme that was present throughout the tweetchat was the importance of engaging men and boys in promoting women’s empowerment and gender equality, a critical issue.

During USAID’s session, senior coordinator for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment, Susan Markham, served as the guest expert, posing questions and replying.

In the final half-hour, we called on participants to share resources.

As evident during our International Women’s Day tweetchat, there is increased momentum for women’s empowerment and gender-integrated programming among donors, organizations, and the public, which, coupled with the new stand-alone goal on gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls in the newly adopted Sustainable Development Goals, as well as gender-sensitive targets in other goals, I am confident that as a community, we will continue to advance gender equality in 2016 and beyond.

Read more about The Asia Foundation’s work to advance gender equality, and follow the full #IWDchat16 discussion here.

Elizabeth Silva is a program officer for The Asia Foundation’s Women’s Empowerment Program in Washington, D.C. She can be reached at [email protected]. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author, not those of The Asia Foundation.


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