UNOV/UNODC Gender Team: What was the “a-ha” moment when you realized there was a practical reason for promoting gender equality? How is that translated in your work?
Abril Violeta Zarco: The moment I realized that promoting gender equality issues should be at the center of every policy and a priority issue in the UN's work was when the head of a local women's institute told me: "If it wasn't for your work and support, I would have resigned by now. Being a woman in this position is only possible because of the work that women like you do". In that moment I realized that there was a practical reason to promote gender issues, as this can really impact lives for the better and unite people committed to justice, the improvement of policies and streamlining the implementation of projects.
From that moment on, all my work is inspired by her words. I want all women, not only colleagues, but also partners, donors, and beneficiaries to feel supported, safe, free and ultimately empowered and eager to support others. It is very satisfying to contribute to this by doing my work.
UNOV/UNODC Gender Team: How would you encourage other colleagues to lead the way and be actively involved in promoting gender equality?
Abril Violeta Zarco: There are incredible and very talented colleagues (women and men) that constantly show interest and commitment in promoting gender equality. I would tell them: “We are here, we are working for all of us, we are stronger together, and together we will achieve this”.
UNOV/UNODC Gender Team: How do you commemorate International Women´s Day, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic?
Abril Violeta Zarco: Since this March 8th we won’t be able to march and we won’t have the opportunity to hold each other, I will try to commemorate it by continuing the work to promote gender equality and gender parity in our office. A lot has been done since the suffragettes called out this day as International Women’s Day, a lot more needs to be done so every woman, in every place in the world is equal to men in the eyes of the societies, of the governments and of the justice systems.
(c) UN Women
Marked annually on March 8th, International Women's Day celebrates women's achievements and raises awareness about women's equality. UN Women announced this year`s theme as, “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world.” The theme celebrates the tremendous efforts by women and girls around the world in shaping a more equal future and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. It is also aligned with the priority theme of the 65th session of the Commission on the Status of Women, “Women's full and effective participation and decision-making in public life, as well as the elimination of violence, for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls” and the flagship Generation Equality campaign.