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.
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.
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".
The Occupied Palestinian Territory now suffers the highest unemployment rate in the world, with incomes and agricultural production going down, the United Nations trade and development agency said on Wednesday, noting that women and young people were worst affected, as the Israeli occupation continues.
Fishing has traditionally sustained communities in the Lake Chad Basin area, supporting nearly 30 million people living along its shores in Chad, but also Cameroon, Nigeria and Niger. However, the once huge lake which covered 250,000 km2 has now shrunk to one tenth of its original size, largely due to unsustainable water management and the corrosive effects of climate change. With fish now more scarce, and fisherfolk needing to travel further to find them, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has stepped in to offer support.
Women and girls are central to the sustainability of rural households and communities, improving rural livelihoods and overall wellbeing, but their role and significance is often overlooked, the head of the United Nations entity for women's empowerment today said.
An economic model to estimate the costs of intimate partner violence - the most common form of violence against women in the Arab world - was spotlighted this week at the United Nations regional commission, based in Beirut, Lebanon.
Striving to raise up women's pay across the world to equal men's, a new global coalition - which includes the United Nations labour agency and Organization's entity promotion of women's rights - launched today on the eve of the General Assembly debate.
Gender parity at all levels - political, cultural, economic and social - is a "central objective" and must be based on women's empowerment, Secretary-General António Guterres told women's rights activists and civil society representatives today during a town hall-style discussion at United Nations Headquarters in New York.