International Women's Day, 8 March 2021

Dear colleagues,
The theme for the International Women’s Day 2021 has been announced by UN WOMEN as “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world.” The theme celebrated the women leaders and women’s organizations for their irreplaceable contributions to effectively lead in COVID-19 response and recovery efforts. Such contributions made it clear that restoration efforts not fully leveraging the potential of women’s leadership will fail to succeed in the Post-Pandemic World.
On November 17, 2017, EWORA Board of Directors unanimously agreed to celebrate the International Women’s day by recognizing and honouring major contributions made to advancing gender equality in leadership positions.  An award was created with the purpose of contributing to the visibility of best practices, to actions and policies tackling gender-based discrimination, empowering women and enhancing their decision-making capacity at all levels, especially in the area of higher education.

This year, EWORA has the great pleasure to bestow the distinction of
“EWORA Honorary Award 2021” on Ms. Sanna Marin, the Prime Minister of Finland, for having a Cabinet with a majority of female members.

Prime Minister’s initiative is a vivid and unmistakable realization of EWORA’s overarching purpose which is to increase the number of women at decision-making levels. Ms. Sanna Marin and her cabinet of a significant number of female members have set a unique example of equality, inclusion, and diversity in leadership.

On this Women’s Day gender disparities in leadership still appear to be among the most critical areas where we need to take further steps to build a better and more equal World. Once again EWORA reaffirms its strong commitment to empower women for achieving gender equality at top-management levels of Higher Education and Research. 
“Her wings are cut and then she is blamed for not knowing how to fly”, says Simone de Beauvoir. Let us together save and strengthen the wings of female academics and see them flying to the leadership positions of academia.
Remembering with gratitude and celebrating women’s long struggle for their rights, European Women Rectors Association (EWORA) would like to wish you all health and happiness on this International Women’s Day.

Kind regards,
Prof. Gulsun Saglamer
President, EWORA
8 March