International Women’s Day: UN Chief Harps On Gender Equality

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    In this photo provided by the United Nations, Kim Song, the new Permanent Representative of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, left, shakes hands with United Nations Secretary General António Guterres, after presenting his credentials Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018 at United Nations Headquarters. (Eskinder Debebe/The United Nations via AP)

    UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, insists that the world “cannot emerge from the pandemic with the clock spinning backwards on gender equality.”

    Guterres said this in his message to celebrate the International Women’s Day, globally marked on March 8, to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women.

    Guterres highlighted the contribution that women had made to ending the COVID-19 pandemic, hailed the ideas, innovations and activism that are changing the world for the better, and welcomed more women leaders across all walks of life.

    However, as the UN chief pointed out, women and girls have frequently borne the brunt of the consequences of the virus spreading worldwide.

    He said this included girls and women being shut out of schools and workplaces, which led to rising poverty and rising violence, and seen women doing the vast majority of the world’s unpaid but essential care work.

    To remedy the situation, Guterres called for guaranteed quality education for every girl, massive investments in women’s training and decent work, effective action to end gender-based violence, and universal health care.

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    Other measures recommended by the UN chief include gender quotas, that could result in the world benefiting from more women leaders.

    The theme of the 2022 International Women’s Day is, “Gender Equality Today for a Sustainable Tomorrow,” underscoring the fact that women bear a disproportionate burden of the impacts of the climate crisis, and need to be central to the solutions for a sustainable planet.

    The Action Coalition for Feminist Action for Climate Justice is helping to make sure that this happens.

    The Coalition, which brings together governments, private sector companies, the UN system and civil society, is part of a drive to bring about global action and investment, with a focus on financing for gender-just climate solutions.

    These include increasing women’s leadership in the green economy, building women and girls’ resilience to climate impacts and disasters, and increasing the use of data on gender equality and climate. (NAN)