The United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, said gender equality has to be prioritised and pursued. Guterres stated this in his OP-ED on the 2023 International Women’s Day, he said this on Tuesday.
The Secretary-General noted that the progress on women’s rights was vanishing. He notes that it will take years to reach full gender equality.
“Today’s cascading crises, from the war in Ukraine to the climate emergency, affect women and girls first and worst.
Speaking on this year’s theme ‘DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality’, Guterres said discrimination against women in science and technology was the result of centuries of patriarchy, discrimination and damaging stereotypes.
“This year, International Women’s Day focuses on closing gender gaps in science, technology, and innovation. Globally, men are 21% more likely to be online than women — and over 50% more likely in low-income countries.
“But even the richest countries lose out because of gender-based stereotypes and historic bias. In the tech industry, men outnumber women two to one. In Artificial Intelligence, it’s five to one.
“Women account for just three percent of Nobel Prize winners in scientific categories since 1901. And women online – including scientists and journalists – are often targeted for sexist hate speech and abuses designed to silence and shame them. But they will not be silenced. Women and girls everywhere are demanding their rights, and their words reverberate around the world.”
The Secretary-General stated emphatically that actions are needed on several fronts. This is to make sure women and girls can make their full contribution to the world’s knowledge through science and technology.
“We must break down barriers — from discriminatory data to stereotypes that push girls away from studying scientific subjects at an early age. Decision-makers of all kinds must broaden women’s participation and leadership in science and technology, through quotas if necessary.
“They should be creative, widening the recruitment pipeline and hiring for skills. And they must be persistent. Gender equality will not happen by itself; it has to be prioritized and pursued. This approach is getting results at the United Nations, where we have our own strategy for gender parity among our personnel.
He added that;
“The United Nations is working with governments, civil society, the private sector and others on a Code of Conduct aimed at reducing harm and increasing accountability on digital platforms while defending the freedom of expression. Women’s rights are not a luxury that can wait until we solve the climate crisis, end poverty and create a better world.
“Investing in women and girls is the surest way to uplift all people, communities and countries, and to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Together, let’s work for a more inclusive, just, and prosperous world for women and girls, men and boys, everywhere.”
cc: Punch Ng