Message from UN General Secretary to mark International Women’s Day

On Thursday 8th March, International Women’s Day, the United Nations General Secretary, Antonio Guterres, sent a message to women around the world, recalling that we are at a decisive moment for gender equality rights.

From Latin America to Asia, through Europe, Africa, on social media, television sets, in factories and in the streets, women are asking for lasting change, and will tolerate neither sexual aggression or harassment, or any type of discrimination. Achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls with work in our age is the greatest challenge in the world with regards to Human Rights” said the United Nations General Secretary, in his speech.

The campaigns carried out by generations of women are bearing fruit: more girls that ever before go to school; more and more women have paid work and hold posts of responsibility on the private sector, academic circles, politics and international organisations, such as the United Nations”, recalled Antonio Guterres, as he listed some of what has been achieved to date.

Over one thousand million women throughout the world are without legal protection when facing sexual violence in the home. Wage inequality through gender on the world in 23%, and this rises to 40% in rural areas, where unpaid work done by many women goes unrecognised. Representation through women in national parliaments continues to be lower, at a quarter, and on boards of directors it is even lower still. Current laws are frequently breaches, and women who demand compensation are questioned, denigrated and discredited”, said Antonio Guterres, who stated that the UN should always be an example to the world.

Furthermore, the UN General Secretary recalled that “the empowerment of women is a central theme of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development. If we make progress in compliance with its objectives, we shall also advance the cause of women throughout the world. Through the Spot Light initiative that we have implemented with the European Union, resources will be dedicated to the elimination of violence against women and children, a previous requirement for equality and empowerment”.

It is essential that there is transparency so that they can achieve their full potential and help the community, society and economy to prosper”. I am proud to be part of this movement and I hope it continues to expand in the United Nations and the world as a whole” concluded Antonio Guterres, in his speech.

Source: Official Web Page of the Government of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea

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