International Women’s Day: The ‘time is now’ to transform global push for women’s rights into action – UN
This year, International Women’s Day comes at a pivotal moment, and with a wave women’s activism – from the #MeToo movement to #TimesUp and beyond – exposing the structures that have allowed women's oppression to flourish, the United Nations is urging the world to stand with rural and urban women activists to topple the remaining barriers to gender equality and empowerment. “The historical and structural inequalities that have allowed oppression and discrimination to flourish are being exposed like never before,” Secretary-General António Guterres said in his message on the Day, marked annually on 8 March.
From Latin America to Europe to Asia, on social media, on film sets, on the factory floor and in the streets, women are calling for lasting change and zero tolerance for sexual assault, harassment, and discrimination of all kinds, said the UN chief, declaring that achieving gender equality and empowering women and girls “is the unfinished business of our time, and the greatest human rights challenge in our world.” “The activism and advocacy of generations of women has borne fruit,” he continued. “There are more girls in school than ever before; more women are doing paid work and in senior roles in the private sector, academia, politics and in international organizations, including the United Nations.” However, some remaining serious obstacles include that more than a billion women lack legal protection against domestic sexual violence; over the next decade millions more girls will undergo genital mutilation; and women’s representation in parliaments stands at less than one quarter – and even lower in boardrooms. “Where laws exist, they are often ignored, and women who pursue legal redress are doubted, denigrated and dismissmantled,” he lamented.
Noting that the UN should “set an example for the world,” Mr. Guterres recognizes that this is not always the case. . .
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