Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women discusses the critical issue of gender equality and women’s rights, reflecting on progress so far and looking ahead at the challenges that remain.
This year is a critical time for the United Nations, for the Commonwealth and for the global community as a whole. We are celebrating 70 years since the United Nations was founded; the 20th anniversary of the landmark Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing; the end-point of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs); and the exciting start of a new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which have gender equality and women’s empowerment at their heart.
In September, thousands of representatives from all over the world gathered at the United Nations General Assembly in New York to launch the new Agenda, which is the most ambitious global effort since the UN’s Declaration of Human Rights in 1948.
With countries in every region, and nearly one-third of the world’s population, the Commonwealth will be central to achieving our shared goals for a more equal, peaceful and sustainable world, where economic growth benefits the many not the few, and where our economic and political systems protect rather than destroy our natural environment. None of this will be possible without advancing the rights of women and girls…
*Statistics within article correct at original publication date of CHOGM 2015 Report.
United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women