UNITED NATIONS — Twenty-five years ago, the world’s nations came together to make sure that half of Earth’s population gained the rights, power and status of the other half. It hasn’t happened yet. And it won’t anytime soon.
In today’s more divided, conservative and still very male-dominated world, top U.N. officials say the hope of achieving equality for women remains a distant goal.
“Gender inequality is the overwhelming injustice of our age and the biggest human rights challenge we face,” U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said. Last week, in his address at the virtual meeting of world leaders at the General Assembly, he said the COVID-19 pandemic has hit women and girls the hardest.
“Unless we act now,” he said, “gender equality could be set back by decades.”
Ahead of Thursday’s high-level meeting to commemorate the landmark 1995 U.N. women’s conference in Beijing, the head of the U.N. agency charged