Step It Up for Gender Equality
In most countries, women earn 60 to 75 per cent of men’s wages and must shoulder a disproportionate amount of unpaid care work.
The fight for women’s equality and justice does not end in the public arena; we must continue to protect women’s rights in the private sphere. No longer can we consider violence against women a personal issue. Over one third of women worldwide are victims of physical or sexual violence, usually by an intimate partner. Hundreds of millions of women and girls are subjected to cultural practices like female genital mutilation and child marriage.
Promoting the rights of all women is at the heart of sustainable development agenda, recently adopted by the international community at the United Nations in New York in 2015.
If half of humanity continues to face systematic discrimination and oppression, the potential for sustainable development including societal cohesion and peaceful interactions will remain similarly limited in scope.
To eradicate poverty and hunger, promote global sustainability, and foster peaceful societies, women must be empowered to join the processes of interaction and leadership.
This begins with education. In a world where sixteen million girls will never begin school compared to eight million boys, the Sustainable Development goals are simply unachievable.
We cannot begin to do the work for all people and our planet until women are offered the opportunities to realize their potential and contribute to development efforts.
Women’s voices must be heard through political leadership, through free press, and through social and economic empowerment.
We are all called to join the conversation on women’s rights and empowerment – not as men and boys or women and girls, but as global citizens seeking a more peaceful, prosperous, and sustainable world for all.