Global economics, health and sustainability are some of the usual discussion points at the United Nations. However, at the recently held U.N. Sustainable Development Summit, Ban Ki-moon, the U.N.’s secretary-general, put the spotlight on women’s empowerment.
“We cannot achieve our 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development without full and equal rights for half of the world’s population, in law and in practice. We cannot effectively respond to humanitarian emergencies without ensuring women and girls are protected and their needs prioritized,” said Ban Ki-moon during an event hosted by U.N. Women and China.
The Sustainable Development Summit discussed the Sustainable Development Goals, which are a follow-up to the Millennium Development goals created in 2000. These Sustainable Development Goals include the goal to “achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.”
To this end, Ban Ki-moon asked leaders to commit to ending gender inequality, pointing to “This means urgently addressing structural barriers, such as unequal pay.” He also discussed other gender inequalities, such as the importance of women’s bodily autonomy, gender violence and the encouragement of women’s participation in the workforce.
The United Nations, founded in 1945, began addressing gender inequalities prior to this summit. In 2010, The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, or U.N. Women, began. U.N. Women helps to streamline the U.N.’s efforts in advancing gender equality in all member states.
This past summer, the United Nations Security Council condemned the use of sexual violence during wartime, in reference to Syria and Iraq.
To help encourage gender equality to reality by 2030, businesses pledged millions of dollars At the Business and Philanthropy Leader’s Forum, co-hosted by U.N. Women, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Alibaba Group.
Now global citizens wait to see how many of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals will become a reality. With the recent attention to women’s rights, the United Nations starts the journey to make gender equality a reality within member states.
– Rachelle Kredentser