Generations of progress for women and girls could be lost to COVID pandemic, UN chief warns

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Generations of progress for women and girls could be lost to COVID pandemic, UN chief warns

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In an address to a virtual town hall with young women from civil society organizations, the Secretary-General said that the global pandemic has already reversed decades of limited and fragile progress on gender equality and women’s rights.

“Without a concerned response, we risk losing a generation or more of gains”, he cautioned.

Mr. Guterres underscored the vital role played by women, as healthcare workers, essential staff, teachers and carers, helping millions globally – both within and outside their homes.  

However, few are recognized due to persisting inequalities and biases. At the same time, many women working in the informal sector have been thrown into financial insecurity, without regular income or effective social safety nets.

“The pandemic has exposed the extent of its impact on physical and mental health, education and labour force participation”, said Mr. Guterres, amid disturbing reports from around the world of skyrocketing gender-based violence, “as many women are effectively confined with their abusers, while resources and support services are redirected”.

“In short, the pandemic is exposing and exacerbating the considerable hurdles women face in achieving their rights and fulfilling their potential”, he said.

Monday’s town hall meeting is a regular fixture on the UN calendar, but generally organized on the side-lines of the annual session of the Commission on the Status of Women. This year, however, it was postponed due to the pandemic and held virtually, with thousands of women activists and defenders of women’s rights participating remotely.

Click here to read the full article published by UN News on 6 November 2020.

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