High-powered call for women's full participation in shaping global future
International Women's Day celebration galvanizes top-level political and grassroots support for change
(New York) At a high-powered UN event today to commemorate International Women's Day, top international leaders called for full realization of women's rights in the 21st century.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon: "To every girl born today, and to every woman and girl on the planet, our message is that human rights are not a dream. They are they are a duty for which we must all work until they are universally realized."
Former US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton: "We are aligning our efforts with UN Women and with many others in order to go back and take a look, nearly two decades ago now, at the historic Beijing conference, to understand what we achieved from the platform for action that was adopted there, and to work together to set the agenda for the future."
"Just as women's rights are human rights, women's progress is human progress. For all the achievements made, this is the big unfinished business of the 21st century."
President of the 68th session of the UN General Assembly, John W. Ashe: "The road to achieving gender equality cannot and must not be traveled by women and girls alone. Just as we know that we cannot achieve sustainable development without women, we also know that we cannot achieve gender equality without the full engagement of men and boys."
UN Women Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: "The response we need is bigger and bolder actions. So that women's equality can be a game changer for women and girls and for humanity. Together we can choose to be liberators or risk being footnotes in history. That bold action is to embed women's rights, women's empowerment and gender equality in all we do, now and beyond 2015 and provide measurements and modalities that will give us significant impact that is also transformative."
Vice President of the World YWCA Board, Andrea Nunez: "Invest in young women and girls. You know what we need to do. Provide quality education to women and girls, so that they can get decent jobs. Create opportunities so that young women can be decision-makers, bringing innovative ideas to political and social challenges."
More information: http://www.unwomen.org/en/news/in-focus/international-womens-day
UN Women is the UN organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. A global champion for women and girls, UN Women was established to accelerate progress on meeting their needs worldwide. For more information, visit www.unwomen.org. UN Women, 220 East 42nd Street, New York, NY 10017, New York. Tel: +1 646 781-4400. Fax: +1 646 781-4496.
Photo credit: UN Women/Ryan Brown