A wheelchair-bound Pakistani mother who yearned to visit a park without worrying about ramp access, and a young South Sudanese woman who dreams of having affordable health care, were among the speakers opening the United Nation's largest annual gathering on gender equality and women's rights on Monday.
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UN Secretary-General António Guterres opened the event by enumerating some of the world's collective challenges, "from climate change...to the weakening of commitment to multilateralism," stressing that "gender equality and women's rights are fundamental to addressing each of these". "We can only re-establish trust and rebuild global solidarity by challenging historic injustices and promoting the rights and dignity of all", he maintained.
Women's empowerment and gender equality are "essential to global progress", United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres stressed in his message for International Women's Day which this year puts "innovation by women and girls, for women and girls", at the heart of efforts to achieve gender equality.
A teacher holds up a drawing of an adolescent girl who has just been caught unawares by her first menstruation cycle, while at school. She's addressing neat rows of young women sitting in class, in the town of Bol, in Chad.
Despite greater participation of women in building and sustaining peace and the recognition from all quarters of the value they bring, the realities on the ground show that much more remains to be done, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres told Security Council members on Thursday.
Following complaints by two French Muslim women, fined for wearing a full-body veil or niqab, a UN Committee of independent human rights experts ruled in their favour on Tuesday, stating that their freedom to practice their religion had been infringed.
A group of United Nations agencies has issued a joint statement calling for a ban on tests meant to assess the virginity of a girl or a woman, which is a common practice in at least 20 countries. The statement, which was issued during the World Congress of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) in Rio de Janeiro, stresses that such tests are both unscientific, and a violation of human rights.
The world's population is set to grow by 2.2 billion between now and 2050, the UN said on Wednesday, and more than half of that growth - 1.3 billion - is likely to be in sub-Saharan Africa, where women's rights are hampered by limited access to healthcare and education, along with "entrenched gender discrimination".
More than a year into the crisis in Cox's Bazar, the number of Rohingya refugees has reached nearly one million, with young girls in Bangladesh refugee camps sold into forced labour accounting for the largest group of trafficking victims, reported the UN Migration Agency (IOM) on Tuesday.
Marking International Day of Rural Women, on Monday, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres called on countries to ensure that women and girls living in rural areas can enioy their human rights as this would enable making “progress for all”.