UNITED NATIONS — The U.N.’s premiere global body fighting for gender equality should be tackling the yawning gap between men and women when it comes to political leadership and ensuring women have a strong voice in rebuilding economies after the COVID-19 pandemic – not arguing about preserving sexual and reproductive rights for women as it is doing now, the head of UN Women says.
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka said in an interview with The Associated Press that the pandemic has left women facing increasing domestic violence and being laid off from two-thirds of the jobs lost during the coronavirus crisis. In addition, 11 million girls are at risk of never returning to school, child marriage has increased, and there are more orphans and child-headed homes, she said.
“So whatever you touch, women are in a bad space, as a result of the pandemic” and the underlying discrimination “that has always been there,” she said. “This therefore suggests that building back better is about gender equality, just as it’s about green economies and any equitable sharing of resources.”
What the pandemic has made clear, as U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on International Women’s Day earlier this month, is that “this is still a male-dominated world with a male-dominated culture.”
But he said the pandemic “has also forced a reckoning with global inequalities, fragilities and entrenched gender discrimination.’’
Click here to read the full article published by The Washington Post on 23 March 2021.