UN: UN officials stress more efforts to ensure gender equality

New York, US (PANA) - Senior UN officials on Tuesday stressed the need to "Step It Up" with more resources and greater political action to achieve gender equality by 2030.

PANA at the UN headquarters in New York reports that the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in a message to mark the International Women's Day, stated: "I remain outraged by the denial of rights to women and girls, but I take heart from the people everywhere who act on the secure knowledge that women's empowerment leads to society's advancement."

Ban said: "Let us devote solid funding, courageous advocacy and unbending political will to achieving gender equality around the world. There is no greater investment in our common future."

He listed successes during the past eight years within the UN linked to gender equality and women's empowerment, noting that he had signed nearly 150 letters of appointment for women in positions as UN Assistant Secretary-General or UN Under Secretary-General.

"We have shattered so many glass ceilings we created a carpet of shards, and now we are sweeping away the assumptions and bias of the past so women can advance across new frontiers," the UN chief stressed.

On her part, UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, said that the theme for this year's Day is: "Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality", and the year 2030 is the deadline for the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which include targets on achieving gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls, as well as ensuring inclusive and quality education for all and promoting lifelong learning.

She said that the other half of the theme is a reference to UN Women's "Step It Up" initiative, which asked governments to make national commitments that will close the gender equality gap by the 2030 deadline.

"As part of this initiative, more than 90 UN member states have pledged concrete actions to crack some of the fundamental barriers to achievement of gender equality in their countries," she noted.

Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka also called for the beginning of a countdown to substantive gender equality by 2030, supported by accountability and measurable actions.

"The participation of women at all levels and the strengthening of the women's movement has never been so critical, working together with boys and men, to empower nations, build stronger economies and healthier societies," she said.

In a message, UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Director-General, Ms. Irina Bokova, said that promoting gender equality is also a top priority guiding the work of the (UNESCO) in education, the sciences, culture, communication and information.

Ms. Bokova, who is also a candidate for the next UN Secretary-General, called for the promotion of gender equality to "ensure a transformational force for more just, inclusive and sustainable development."

She noted that despite progress, steep obstacles remain before genuine equality is a reality for all women and girls, saying: "The new global agenda will succeed only if every country advances the rights, ingenuity and innovation of every one of its citizens, starting with girls and women."
-0- PANA AA/VAO 8March2016

08 march 2016 14:30:01

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