Gender equality and women’s empowerment


Photo credit: UN News Centre

Working alongside her male team member, a female employee checks the quality of work at a dam under construction in Sri Lanka. Photo: World Bank/Lakshman Nadaraja

Global Goals cannot be achieved without ensuring gender equality and women’s empowerment – UN chief

As world leaders continued their Summit on the Sustainable Development Goals, UN Women and China co-hosted a landmark event today on gender equality and women’s empowerment at which Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon declared that the new Global Goals could not be achieved “without full and equal rights for half of the world’s population, in law and in practice.”

At the high-level ‘Global Leaders’ Meeting on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment: A Commitment to Action’ world leaders are expected to make concrete commitments and firm pledges to overcome gender equality gaps. The event was convened in New York at UN Headquarters on the closing day of the three-day UN Sustainable Development Summit.

“Today, world leaders are signalling their personal responsibility for gender equality and women’s empowerment,” said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the event. “This is as it should be.”

But, said Mr. Ban, while progress has been made in many areas, there was still a long way to go.

“Far too many women and girls continue to be discriminated against, subjected to violence, denied equal opportunities in education and employment, and excluded from positions of leadership and decision-making,” he continued.

“We cannot achieve our 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development without full and equal rights for half of the world’s population, in law and in practice. We cannot effectively respond to humanitarian emergencies without ensuring women and girls are protected and their needs prioritized,” he declared.

UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka said: “The highest leaders in the land are taking personal responsibility for their commitment to gender equality and the empowerment of women.” She added that now, the world looks up to them to lead the game-changing actions that secure and sustain implementation. Today we take the first firm steps towards 25 September, 2030.

Read the full article: UN News Centre

Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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