UN: UN deputy chief tasks govts on women's empowerment policies

New York, US (PANA) - UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed has urged governments to implement policies and programmes that will enhance women's empowerment and gender equality, in order to achieve sustainable development.

"Women's empowerment and gender equality - the subject of the Sustainable Development Goal - 5 (SDG-5) is a critical component of all the SDGs and we all have to champion it," Ms. Mohammed said at a reception in her honour, which was held at New York-based think tank, International Peace Institute (IPI).

She lamented: "Today, women's rights and opportunities are still consistently neglected and are even under threat in all regions of the world."

"The clock is ticking on the countdown to 2030 (SDGs target date) and the goal of Planet 50-50 (ensuring gender equality and parity), and we women are impatient!," she noted.

The UN deputy chief also reminded governments and people that, "it is more than two decades since we heard in Beijing that, "women’s rights are human rights".

"In some places we are losing a lot of those gains that we had and we ought to ask, ‘What’s gone wrong 20 years later?," Ms. Mohammed said.

"Sexism and misogyny are alive and thriving. Violence against women and girls is a continuing pandemic and equality is systemic.

"Inequality limits access to health, education and employment. This is damaging to women and girls and to all people in all societies, as well as represents a tragic lost opportunity and injustice to us all - women and men alike," she stated.

"But, here at the UN, the Secretary-General has been very clear about his commitment to justice and opportunity for women and girls, beginning with gender parity.

"We want to see gender parity not just at the level of Under Secretary-General (USG) and Assistant Secretary-General (ASG) in positions of decision-making that is incredibly important, but for sustainability, we realize that we don’t have many young women coming in at the bottom,” she said.

Ms. Mohammed said: “Gender parity is not just about the top. It is about the bottom up and our institutions at the country level generating discussion that when you go to help countries, more than half the number of people around the table creating solutions are women, and that will engender the possibilities, the integrity, the expertise that women have to look at different dimensions and bring the solutions."

"I don’t think there is a better way of breaking that gender gap, than using young people who today don’t see borders.

"They don’t see what the old people see, many like us, but they will if the intergenerational handover that we do doesn’t involve them," the UN deputy chief added.

She also spoke fondly of the SDGs, saying: "I’m often asked which of the SDGs are my favorite, and I will continue to say, ‘You know, they’re like my kids. Every single one of them is special, but together they’re amazing.’ "

"And that’s how everyone ought to take them. Because if you know the work that went into creating every single one of them, you’ll remember they’ve got many parents," she said.

Ms. Mohammed also noted the UN Secretary-General’s emphasis on conflict prevention, the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, and sustaining peace, represent the best way to bring people together to partner and engage on global issues and development.

"Leave people behind anywhere in the world, and you will get unexpected results," she said, identifying terrorism and migration as two of them.

"We are challenged by that across the world, it is not just about the developing world, but it is about a world that has lost its moral compass, and we have to try to bring that back again," the UN chief stressed.

She praised IPI for being a "huge supporter of the integration of gender into its events and supporting and monitoring UN's peace and security developments."
-0- PANA AA 19March2017

19 march 2017 17:36:16

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