Full gender equality 'still centuries away'

Full gender equality still centuries away – UN

Sep 9, 2022 - 00:03
Sep 9, 2022 - 00:18
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Full gender equality 'still centuries away'
THE LONG ROAD AHEAD Girls walk to their school along a road in Gardez, Paktia province, eastern Afghanistan on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022. AFP PHOTO

UNITED NATIONSFull gender equality will take almost 300 years to achieve at the current rate of progress, the United Nations warned in a report on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila), saying multiple current crises have aggravated disparities.

"At the current rate of progress, the report estimates that it will take up to 286 years to close gaps in legal protection and remove discriminatory laws, 140 years for women to be represented equally in positions of power and leadership in the workplace, and at least 40 years to achieve equal representation in national parliaments," said the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), which compiled the study.

That is very far from the goal of reaching gender equality by 2030, as set out in the UN Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs.

"Global challenges, such as the Covid-19 pandemic and its aftermath, violent conflict, climate change, and the backlash against women's sexual and reproductive health and rights, are further exacerbating gender disparities," UN Women said in a statement together with the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs.

By the end of 2022, an estimated 383 million women and girls will be living in extreme poverty on less than $1.90 a day, compared to 368 million men and boys, it added, a worrying reversal in the battle to reduce poverty.

There were 44 million women and girls who had been forcibly displaced by the end of 2021 — the highest figure ever — and more than 1.2 billion women and girls of childbearing age living in countries with restrictions on access to abortions.

"It is critical that we rally now to invest in women and girls to reclaim and accelerate progress," said Sima Bahous, executive director of UN Women.

"The data show undeniable regressions in their lives made worse by the global crises: in incomes, safety, education and health. The longer we take to reverse this trend, the more it will cost us all," she added.

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