UN Secretary-General: Gender Equality 300 Years Away

    UN Secretary-General: Gender Equality 300 Years Away
    Last updated Mar 08, 2023
    Image credit: VOA


    • In his General Assembly speech on Monday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that “gender equality is growing more distant,” and at the current track, it’s projected to be “300 years away.”[1]
    • High rates of maternal mortality, child marriages, threats to reproductive rights, and denying education to girls are some of the reasons why progress toward gender equality is “vanishing before our eyes.”[2]
    • Speaking to the UN Commission on the Status of Women ahead of International Women’s Day on March 8, Guterres also called out “patriarchy, discrimination, and harmful stereotypes” for women accounting for just 3% of Nobel Prize winners in science and technology sectors.[3]
    • Women’s rights are being "abused, threatened, and violated" around the world Guterres added, and "the patriarchy is fighting back.”[4]
    • Though he particularly highlighted human rights violations against women in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan, Guterres did not name countries like Iran, which was ousted from the Commission for repressing a feminist revolution in 2022.[5]
    • Guterres is the ninth person to serve as UN secretary general, a role no woman has held. During the General Assembly, 14 out of 198 speakers attending in 2021 were women.[6]


    Narrative A

    Not only must we fight for gender equality, but we must also strive for true gender equity and justice. Women and girls around the world are victims of abuse, discrimination, and unfair wages, and those issues need to be remedied. Additionally, the root causes of those problems need to be addressed, so we can ensure that women can be on the path toward justice on a global scale.

    Narrative B

    The effort to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls should start in the UN's own house. Guterres is the ninth person to serve as UN secretary general, a role no woman has held. If the UN remains gender inequitable, its goal to end all forms of discrimination against all women can't be a reality. The UN's ability to help lead the world is undermined as long as gender equity is missing — from bottom to top — and women are not allowed to shatter the glass ceiling.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 35% chance that median wages will be higher for women than for men in the United States in 2050, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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