March is Women's History Month—a time to celebrate the contributions of women in history and in contemporary society. Every year on March 8, the United Nations and much of the world celebrate International Women's Day, which centers around a particular annual theme. For 2024, the United Nations has designated the theme of "Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress," acknowledging the massive deficit in gender-equality measures and the importance of gender equality and women's well-being in creating healthier societies.

The improvement of women's rights and attainment of gender equality is one of the greatest human rights challenges our world faces. In several episodes, the Carr Center's Justice Matters podcast has delved into the many challenges we face on the road to gender equality—a selection of which can be found below.

The Human Rights Violations of Abortion Bans

Karla Torres and Catalina Martinez Coral of the Center for Reproductive Rights discuss human rights violations caused by the reversal of Roe v. Wade and the move to ban abortion in the United States.

Gender and Violence

Dr. Dara Kay Cohen, Ford Foundation Associate Professor of Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School, discusses rape during contemporary civil wars and how documenting war crimes in Ukraine may lead to accountability after the war.

Education and Gender Equality in South Africa and Beyond

Dr. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, former United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women from 2013-2021, discusses her work fighting for the rights of women and children throughout her career in South Africa and the United Nations.

Accountability, Justice, and Human Rights in Afghanistan

Dr. Sima Samar, former Minister of Women’s Affairs in Afghanistan, discusses the situation in Afghanistan, the status of women and girls in the country, and the role and responsibility of the international community.