US: UN launches global gender solidarity campaign

New York, US (PANA) -  UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and UN Women Global Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson have launched a global gender movement, with strong calls on men and boys worldwide to raise their voices for gender equality today and women's empowerment.

A UN statement issued Sunday said that the movement tagged: "UN Women HeForShe campaign" was launched late Saturday in New York at an event attended by a star-studded audience.

Moderated by renowned CNN Anchor Wolf Blitzer, the "HeForShe" event aimed to put men at the centre of activism and dialogue to end persistent inequalities faced by women and girls around the world.

It said that over the next 12 months, the campaign intends to mobilize one billion men and boys as advocates and agents of change for gender equality.

Ban, who spoke at the event, said: "Over the years, men have supported the women's movement, but for the most part, it was just that: a women's movement, when in fact gender equality is the responsibility of all people."

He said that governments have an obligation to address violence against women, stating: "But we also need to change attitudes, as one in three women is a victim of violence and this is a men's issue."

"Men are responsible for most of the threats and violence against women. Often, these men are close to the victims – fathers, husbands, boyfriends or supervisors," he said. "We need
to say to men and boys: Do not raise your hands in violence – raise your voices to stop it – and to support human rights for all."

The Secretary-General capped his remarks by activating the "HeForShe map", a real-time map with a geo-locator to capture men's engagement with the initiative worldwide over the next 12 months and keep a tally towards the campaign's one billion target.

Through his map activation, Ban was counted as the "number one man" and CNN's
Blitzer became "number two", by activating the map next.

In her remarks, UN Women Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka said "HeForShe"
is for every man, every boy, every individual, wherever they are, and despite the dire and very
real statistics about the ongoing scourges of violence against women and gender inequality,

"Men and boys can change the course of history," she stated, urging male politicians, artists, actors and sportsmen to "stand up", so that through them, young men and boys could see role models willing to help change society's failures.

Mlambo-Ngcuka said people from all walks of life were invited to work towards creating
a world of equal justice and equal opportunity, without discrimination.

"I am reaching out to you because we need your help. We want to end gender inequality and
to that we need everyone involved," she added.

Along with am Kutesa, President of the UN General Assembly, the function brought together
renowned personalities, including senior UN officials such as UN Population Fund (UNFPA)
Executive Director Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, and UNESCO Director-General, Ms. Irina Bokova.
-0- PANA AA/AR 21Sept2014

21 september 2014 16:17:38




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