Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN) Bank Ki- Moon says he remains outraged “by the denial of rights to women and girls – but I take heart from the people everywhere who act on the secure knowledge that women’s empowerment leads to society’s advancement.”
On the occasion of International Women’s Day 2016 he is urging “let us devote solid funding, courageous advocacy and unbending political will to achieving gender equality around the world. There is no greater investment in our common future.”
Mr. Ban related his involvement in the fight for equal opportunities for women “I stood with activists calling for the abandonment of female genital mutilation and celebrated when the General Assembly adopted its first-ever resolution supporting that goal. I am echoing the calls of many who know women can drive success in achieving our bold 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and advancing the Paris Agreement on climate change.”
He also recalled that when he assumed office there were nine parliaments around the world without female parliamentarians, noting that “We helped to drive that number down to four. I launched the Unite to End Violence against Women campaign in 2008; today, scores of leaders and ministers, hundreds parliamentarians and millions of individuals have added their names to the action call.”
The UN Secretary-General posited that to ensure that the progress made is lasting, the organization has built a frame work that holds the entire UN system accountable, citing that gender equality is no longer a “laudable idea” but a “firm policy.”
“Gender sensitivity training was optional; now it is mandatory for ever-greater numbers of UN staff. In the past, only a handful of UN budgets tracked resources for gender equality and women’s empowerment; now this is standard for nearly one in three, and counting,” he pointed out.