A black and white photograph (scanned from film) of an International Women's Day March in Sydney in the 1980's. People are marching towards the camera, a banner stretches across the street reading 'International Women's Day'. The crowd stretches down the street, disappearing into the background of the photo.

Image: International Women's Day March, Sydney 1980's. Courtesy of SEARCH Foundation and Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales.

Innovation for a Gender Equal Future

08 Mar 2023

International Women’s Day, first marked in 1911, is a global call to action for accelerating women’s equality and a celebration of the social, economic, and political achievements of women. This year it coincides with the 67th annual Commission on the Status of Women, the United Nations’ largest annual gathering on gender equality and women’s empowerment.

Gender equality is a fundamental human right and a foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world. Goal 5 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals is to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. The goals are a call for action by all countries to promote prosperity while protecting the planet. They recognise that ending poverty must go hand-in-hand with strategies that build economic growth and address a range of social needs including; education, health, social protection, and job opportunities, while tackling climate change and environmental protection.

Public spaces play a critical role in the enjoyment of human rights. At OCULUS, we’re focused on designing places that are sustainable, equitable, inclusive, accessible and safe for everyone, in particular women, girls, gender diverse people and other vulnerable people. Our ongoing gender sensitive urban design research, championed by our Gender Equity Working Group, informs our work and we will share more with you soon.

We’re also mindful of gender balance within our practice and project teams. According to UN Women Australia, innovations from teams that include at least one woman are proven to be more economically valuable and have a higher impact than those with only men involved.

For those working within our industry, we encourage you to connect with Parlour, a research-based advocacy organisation working to improve gender equity in architecture and the built environment professions.

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