UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Twenty-five years ago, the world’s nations came together to make sure that half of Earth’s population gained the rights, power and status of the other half. It hasn’t happened, and the U.N. chief urged people everywhere Thursday to “push back” against the forces holding up equality for women.
Addressing the opening session of a high-level meeting to commemorate the landmark 1995 U.N. women’s conference in Beijing, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said “this is fundamentally a question of power.”
And in today’s more divided, conservative and still very male-dominated world, that power belongs overwhelmingly to men.
Guterres pointed to the frequent exclusion of women from peace negotiations, climate talks and decision-making roles of all kinds. One in three women experiences some form of violence in her lifetime. And the World Bank estimates “that it could take 150 years to achieve gender parity in lifetime earned income,” he said.