14th April 2024
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UN’s Gutteres says GBV is disgrace to humanity

Author: Chany Ninrew | Published: Thursday, March 7, 2024

UN Secretary General Antonio Gutteres. ( Photo: Courtesy).

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres has said the persistent epidemic of gender-based violence across the world is a disgrace to humanity in his statement on the International Women’s Day.

Guterres said despite considerable achievement in the 50 years of fight for gender equality, the world is far from attaining total progress.

He said over the years, women and girls have demolished barriers, dismantled stereotypes and driven progress towards a more just and equal world.

“Hundreds of millions more girls are in classrooms around the world. And pioneering leaders have smashed glass ceilings across the globe. But progress is under threat. And full equality remains light years away,” Guterres said.

“Billions of women and girls face marginalization, injustice and discrimination, as millennia of male domination continue to shape societies.”

“The persistent epidemic of gender-based violence disgraces humanity. Over four million girls are estimated to be at risk of female genital mutilation each year.”

The UN official lamented that discrimination against women and girls remains “perfectly legal” in much of the world.

“In some places, that makes it difficult for women to own property, in others, it allows men to rape their wives with impunity.”

The former Portugues president said the global crises are also hitting women and girls hardest.

“Wherever there’s conflict, climate disaster, poverty or hunger, women and girls suffer most. In every region of the world, more women than men go hungry.”

“In both developed and developing countries, a backlash against women’s rights, including their sexual and reproductive rights, is stalling and even reversing progress.”

Guterres said it may take 300 years for a world at full speed to attain full legal equality for women including the end of child marriage.

“We need equality now. That means accelerating the pace of progress. And that relies on political ambition, and on investment – the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day.”

He calls for investment in programmes ending violence against women, as well as driving women’s inclusion in digital technologies, peacebuilding and climate action.

Guterres also calls on countries to prioritize equality for women and girls, emphasizing that equality is not only a matter of rights but the bedrock of peaceful, prosperous societies.

 

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