‘We are at a pivotal moment for women’s rights. The historical and structural inequalities that have allowed oppression and discrimination to flourish are being exposed like never before. 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’, he said.
Guterres pointed out 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, stressing that the activism and advocacy of generations of women has borne fruit.
‘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. Gender equality is enshrined in countless laws, and harmful practices like female genital mutilation and child marriage have been outlawed in many countries’.
The UN Scribe was of the conviction that serious obstacles remain if we are to address the historic power imbalances that underpin discrimination and exploitation, noting that where laws exist, they are often ignored, and women who pursue legal redress are doubted, denigrated and dismissed.