Gender equality will take 300 years to achieve, says UN Secretary-General
UN Secretary-General António Guterres said on Monday (6) that it will take 300 years to achieve equality between men and women. According to the head of the United Nations, it is necessary to confront patriarchy.
“Advances achieved in decades are evaporating before our eyes,” Guterres declared at the opening of a meeting of the UN Commission on the Status of Women in New York. “At the current rate, UN Women predicts it will take 300 years” for equality between men and women, he warned.
In the amphitheater of the General Assembly, the Secretary-General of the United Nations considered that “the rights of women have been abused, threatened and violated throughout the world”. Guterres cited the situation in Afghanistan, where women and girls have been “erased from public life”.
In addition, he recalled that women’s reproductive and sexual rights in many parts of the world are “in retreat”, not to mention the risk of kidnapping and attacks in some countries, even by the police.
The Covid-19 pandemic and conflicts – from Ukraine to the Sahel, in Africa – have affected and continue to affect “in the first place” women, he indicated. “The patriarchy strikes back, but we will respond”, promised Guterres, noting that the UN “stands with women and girls around the world”.
The head of the United Nations also mentioned the bullying suffered by women on the internet. “Misogynistic misinformation and lies” on social media aim to “silence women and force them out of public life,” said the secretary general.
“The stories may be false, but the damage is very real”, he pointed out, calling for a change in “international frameworks, which are not adapted to the needs and aspirations of women and girls”. There are countries that are “against the inclusion of a gender perspective in multilateral negotiations,” she said.
More women in technology
The 67th meeting of the UN Commission on the Status of Women focused on the technological gender gap. For Guterres, promoting female contributions to science, technology and innovation “is not an act of charity or a favour”. With greater participation of women in online medical services, banking and financial resources, secure digital platforms and technology in general, the benefits “are for everyone”, he pointed out.
“Without the acumen and creativity of half the world, science and technology will only realize half of its potential,” he warned. According to him, of the 3 billion people still not connected to the internet, the majority are women and girls in developing countries.
Guterres also honored the French researcher Emmanuelle Charpentier and the American Jennifer Doudna, who are part of “the first team of women to win a Nobel Prize in science three years ago”, in chemistry, in 2020. “The men’s teams won 172 times”, recalled the UN Secretary-General.
This type of inequality is also registered in developed countries. Present at the event, the president of the Swiss Confederation, Alain Berset, admitted that women are still “underrepresented in scientific areas” in his country, accounting for “only 37% of the total number of graduates in these fields”.
Marlène Schiappa, French Secretary of State responsible for the Social and Solidarity Economy and Associative Life, also stated at the meeting that “together, women have the power to make feminist leaders emerge through digital”.
Originally Posted by RFI
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