Happy International Women’s Day

On this day, the NCCE calls for equal opportunities for women, representation of more women in public and private spaces and access to all needed resources.

The Commission shares the highlights of the UN Secretary General’s speech on this all important day.

UN Secretary General, António Guterres says….

“I wish you all the best for International Women’s Day.

Gender inequality is the overwhelming injustice of our age and the biggest human rights challenge we face. I have said it before, and I will say it again: gender equality is a question of power.

Men have used and abused power to control women and prevent them from achieving their potential for millennia. Deep-rooted patriarchy and misogyny have created a yawning gender power gap in our economies, our political systems, our corporations, our societies and our culture. Women are still very frequently denied a voice; their opinions are ignored and their experience discounted.

In recent months, there have been plenty of examples. High-profile peace agreements have been signed without any women at the table. Emergency healthcare meetings on the new coronavirus were convened with few or no women. However, women need

peace, and need to contribute to peace, just as much as men – maybe more. Women are as vulnerable to illness as men and they make up the majority of the healthcare workforce.

There is no justification for women’s continued exclusion.

In recent years, I have seen a change. Women have had enough.They are protesting against femicide – the killing of women – in the streets; they are on strike for equal pay and conditions; they are calling out powerful men for violence and abuse.

Young women are redefining what power looks like.

They are creating new, inclusive forms of leadership that unite people across borders and around common goals. I welcome some of these young leaders here today. Thank you for your activism and your advocacy. Please keep up the pressure. Please hold the world to account. We need your passion and conviction as we face a whole range of global challenges, from climate change to conflict.

Generation Equality cannot be Generation Gradual Improvement or Generation Incremental Change. Generation Equality means equal rights and opportunities for all women and girls, NOW! That is why I am determined to achieve gender parity at all levels at the United Nations, and I am pleased that we have done so at senior levels two years ahead of schedule

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