THE 2017 session of the UN Commission on Status of Women (CSW) opened on Monday at the United Nations headquarters in New York with calls for more men to stand up for equality.
“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.
“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,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres said.
The Secretary-General was among the UN’s several senior officials addressing CSW, the principal global intergovernmental body dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women.
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 dollars to global growth over the next decade.
Guterres stressed that when women meaningfully participate in peace processes, the chance of sustainable peace goes up by 35 per cent over 15 years.
He asked the 193 Member States to move beyond the current level, where women make up just three per cent of UN peacekeepers.
He promised that the UN and he personally would support efforts for gender equality.
“Do not let us off the hook. Keep our feet to the fire,” Guterres said.
He announced that he was 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 61st session will run through March 24.
Nigeria’s Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Sen. Aisha Alhassan, is leading Nigeria’s delegation at the session.