News

UN Chief Urges Gender Equality on International Women's Day

Multimedia

Margaret Besheer

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon marked International Women's Day Wednesday calling for gender equality and the empowerment of women, saying that until women and girls are liberated from poverty and injustice; peace, security and sustainable development stand in jeopardy.  

International Women's Day will be marked around the world on Monday, but the United Nations has begun official observances on the sidelines of the Commission on the Status of Women conference, which has brought more than 2,000 women together from around the world at U.N. headquarters.

The Commission is reviewing progress on women's rights in the 15 years since the so-called Beijing Declaration platform of action was agreed. That sets out the framework for advancing equality, development and peace for the world's women.

Addressing the delegates, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said there has been a great deal of progress since 1995 of which everyone should be proud, but not complacent.

"A growing number of countries have policies and legislation that support gender equality and reproductive health," said Ban Ki-moon. "Most girls now receive an education, particularly at primary level. Women are now more likely to run businesses and be given loans.  Women are also now more likely to participate in government."

He said civil society, particularly women's groups, have played a major role in these gains.

"Women everywhere are mobilizing for equality and empowerment - and succeeding," he said.

But he warned that injustice and discrimination against women continue to persist everywhere.  He said it comes in various forms - in its worst - as violence, but also in early and forced marriage, so-called 'honor killing', sexual abuse and trafficking.

Among the ways the United Nations hopes to eliminate gender inequality is through the creation of a women's agency that would provide more coherent programming and a stronger voice for women.

The U.N. chief said he is also trying to lead by example.  Under his tenure, the number of women holding senior U.N. posts has risen 40 percent.   

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs