Senior United Nations officials from around the world are marking International Women’s Day with calls to “Step It Up” with more resources and greater political action to achieve gender equality by 2030 (see On International Women’s Day, UN officials call to ‘Step It Up’ for gender equality).
In his message to mark the day, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stated:
I remain 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.
The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality.” The year 2030 is the deadline for the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which include targets on achieving gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls, as well as ensuring inclusive and quality education for all and promoting lifelong learning.
According to the UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka,
The participation of women at all levels and the strengthening of the women’s movement has never been so critical, working together with boys and men, to empower nations, build stronger economies and healthier societies.
UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, for his part, highlights the important role that Syrian women must play in bringing peace to that war-ravaged country:
They have, and must have, the right to be part of the political process and the negotiations which we, at the UN, are planning to have. They are part of the future of Syria, of the present and of the past. They have much to say and much to teach us.
To this end, the Special Envoy has established a special advisory board composed solely of Syrian women to advise him about key issues in the Syrian peace process.
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For the Joint Statement by ministers Dion, Freeland and Bibeau on International Women’s Day, click here.
Photo credit: UN Women/Ryan Brown