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With men still dominating even in countries that consider themselves progressive, the world needs more women leaders and more men standing up for gender equality, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said.
“It is true, I am a man, but we need all men to stand up for women’s empowerment. Our world needs more women leaders. And our world needs more men standing up for gender equality,” Mr. Guterres told the Commission on Status of Women (CSW), which began its annual session this morning.
He was among the UN’s several senior leaders addressing CSW, the principal global intergovernmental body dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women.
Mr. Guterres noted that empowerment of women is about breaking structural barriers. With the nearly one billion women entering the global economy in the next decade, empowerment will unleash the potential of all these women and girls – and they will lead the world to a new future.
He also cited one study showing that women’s equality can add $12 trillion to global growth over the next decade.
Furthermore, he stressed, when women meaningfully participate in peace processes, the chance of sustainable peace goes up by 35 per cent over 15 years. He asked UN Member States to move “We are all better off when we open doors of opportunity for women and girls: in classrooms and boardrooms, in military ranks and at peace talks, in all aspects of productive life,” he said.
Promising that the UN and he personally will support efforts for gender equality, Mr. Guterres said “Do not let us off the hook. Keep our feet to the fire.”
He announced that he is joining the International Gender Champions, a global network that brings women and men decision-makers together to break down gender barriers, encouraging other senior leaders to do the same.
With its priority theme ‘Women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work,’ CSW’s sixty-first session will run through 24 March.