By Harrison Arubu
UN Deputy Secretary-General, Ms Amina Mohammed, has reaffirmed the importance of gender equality in attaining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Speaking at the UN headquarters in New York on Monday, Mohammed stated that the world would miss the goals without women empowerment and equal opportunities for them in decision making.
The UN deputy chief spoke at an informal plenary meeting of the UN General Assembly on `Gender Equality and Women’s Leadership for a Sustainable World’.
“From military ranks to peace tables, and of course in the United Nations itself, more women decision makers means more inclusive solutions that will benefit everyone.
“From driving increased spending on health, education, social protection to enacting laws against discrimination, women leaders certainly have a strong track record as agents of change,” she said.
Mohammed said although gender equality awareness was growing, global progress on it was still far too slow.
She cited recent reports, which indicate that no country was on track to fully achieving Goal 5 of the SDGs on gender equality by 2030.
“Significant gender gaps and biases still remain. We see discriminatory laws, policies and regulations constraining women’s equal opportunities and outcomes.
“Barriers to women’s representation and leadership for many persist everywhere , from structure barriers to gender bias and discrimination and gender based violence and intimidation.
“If we are to achieve our ambitious sustainable development agenda, our world needs more women now, and more younger women even more so,” she added.
Earlier in her opening remarks, the host and President of the General Assembly, Ms Maria Espinosa, described gender equality as a magic formula to attain the SDGs.
Espinosa emphasised the need for more political will and “razor-sharp focus” practical solutions to gender discrimination and imbalance,
“Gender equality is the closest thing we have to a magic formula for sustainable development, and it is certainly magic in terms of impact.
“But there is nothing magical about how to achieve gender equality. We know what to do to empower women and girls.
“It is there in the 2030 Agenda, it is there in the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action , which remains the gold standard for women’s empowerment.
“What we need is greater political will, a razor-sharp focus on the most transformative, practical solutions, and to widen their scale and impact,” she said. (NAN)