Progress towards gender equality under threat, UN Chief warns

Foreign Desk Report

NEW YORK: Warning that the coronavirus pandemic could erase recent “fragile progress” towards gender equality, UN Secretary-General Antonio Thursday urged governments around the world to act and put women at the center of recovery and response. The UN chief issued the warning in a speech to a UN General Assembly high-level meeting to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the landmark Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing, China.
The Beijing Conference, as it is known, marked a significant turning point on the global agenda, making it clear that women’s rights are at the heart of equality and justice around the world.
But as the UN chief told the gathering, the Conference was also a “wake-up call” as these rights are still being denied, hindered and ignored everywhere.
“COVID-19 has emphasized and exploited the continued denial of women’s rights. Women and girls are bearing the brunt of the massive social and economic impact of the pandemic,” he said, speaking from the rostrum in the General Assembly Hall. “25 years after Beijing, we are facing a women-led recession as women employed in the informal economy are first to lose their jobs,” Guterres continued, outlining the aftershocks of the pandemic.