UN: UN Women launches next phase in "HeForShe" campaign

New York, US (PANA) -  UN Women, the UN entity dedicated to achieving women’s empowerment and gender equality, on Friday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, unveiled a new initiative to galvanize the support of global leaders to bring an end to the persisting inequalities faced by women and girls around the world.

At a press conference in the Swiss town, UN Women Global Goodwill Ambassador, Ms. Emma Watson, who launched the "HeForShe" campaign last September in New York, said this next phase, "HeForShe IMPACT 10X10X10", would focus on engaging governments, businesses and universities to make concrete commitments to advance women’s empowerment.

Ms. Watson stated: "Women share this planet 50/50 and they are underrepresented, their potential astonishingly untapped. We are very excited to be launching IMPACT 10x10x10 to bring the 'HeForShe' into the next phase."

PANA learned that Ms. Watson launched the initiative alongside UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Executive Director of UN Women Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, as well as several political and business leaders.

She said that, in the months following the kick-off of the initiative in September, several Heads of State, along with celebrities and thousands of men from around the world had committed to be champions for the "HeForShe" campaign.

She said: "Everyone from Desmond Tutu to Prince Harry to Hillary Clinton and Yoko Ono has issued their support."

Best known for playing the leading role of 'Hermione Granger' in Harry Potter saga, Ms. Watson said: "I have had my breath taken away when a fan told me that since watching my speech in September she has stopped herself being beaten up by her father. I have been stunned by the number of men in my life that have contacted me since my speech to tell me to keep going and that they want to make sure their daughter will still be alive in a world where women have parity, economically and politically."

The UN envoy also said: "To date, more than 200,000 men and boys have signed their commitment to gender equality, and 'HeForShe' has reached more than 1.2 billion people on social media, but more can be done.

"Decide what your commitment is, make it public, and then please report back to us on your progress so that we can share your story. We want to support, guide and reinforce your efforts. Impact 10x10x10 is about concrete commitments to change, the visibility of these commitments and the measurability of them too," she stressed.

On his part, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said: "HeForShe has signed up fathers who want to raise empowered daughters; leaders who know their societies will be stronger when there are as many women in parliament and in business as men, and ordinary people who are fed up with violence and discrimination against women, and want to be part of a global force for change."

Underling the alliances the campaign is building, Ban said that the partnership involved individuals and corporations, government leaders and activists, celebrities and global citizens.

Also speaking, UN Women Executive Director, Ms. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, stated: "The HeForShe IMPACT Initiative puts responsibility for change right where it matters, and spotlights leaders who can make it happen."

"Ultimately we need everyone to get involved if we are to turn the tide," she said.

"The HeForShe IMPACT Initiative puts responsibility for change right where it matters and spotlights leaders who can make it happen, and the founding Champions from industry and government will pave the way for others to join in, using the pilot initiatives to streamline decision-making on relevant and successful activities," Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka noted.

PANA reports that a report, entitled: "The World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2014," was launched and it highlighted a large current gap between men and women in terms of political engagement and opportunity and little improvement in equality for women in the workplace since 2006.
-0- PANA AA/MA 23Jan2015

23 january 2015 22:17:21

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