EYEAFRICA TV: New York, USA:- As the world marked International Women’s Day, UN highlighted the transformative power of women’s equal participation.
To United Nations officials called on all stakeholders to take special measures to advance the equal participation of women to achieve rapid change.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres outlined “clear evidence”, such as better social protection programmes, stronger climate policies and enduring peace agreements, when women are in governments, parliaments or peace negotiations.
“Whether running a country, a business or a popular movement, women are making contributions that are delivering for all and driving progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” Mr. Guterres said.
“I call on countries, companies and institutions to adopt special measures and quotas to advance women’s equal participation and achieve rapid change”, he urged.
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN-Women, the Organization’s entity dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women, underlined the need for political will to actively and intentionally support women’s representation.
“This is the only way we will get real societal change that incorporates women in decision-making as equals and benefits us all,” the head of UN-Women added.
Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said discrimination against women is what is holding them back, not a lack of interest or capacity.
“We are at a pivotal moment … the responsibility of our lifetimes is upon us: to create more equitable, inclusive, just, and sustainable post-pandemic societies,” Ms. Bachelet added.
Ghada Waly, Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) underscored the importance of women’s leadership and representation in law enforcement and judiciary.
“Their increased participation ensures more investigations into crimes against women, better policing outcomes, and successful victim-centred approaches,”she added.
“These are major victories for public trust and effective institutions. When women lead, we all win”, Ms. Waly said.
The UN began celebrating the International Day in 1975, which was designated International Women’s Year.
Over the decades, it has morphed from recognizing the achievements of women to becoming a rallying point to build support for women’s rights and participation, in the political and economic arenas.
This year’s commemorations, under the theme, World in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world, comes as the world continues to navigate the pandemic, which has wiped out decades of hard-won progress towards gender equality.