At the current rate, it will take 300 years for equality between men and women to be achieved, warned this Monday (6) the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, in reference to International Women’s Day, celebrated on Wednesday (8) .

“The progress made in decades is evaporating before our eyes,” he said at the opening of the 67th session of the Commission on the Juridical and Social Status of Women, which will continue until March 17.

“Misinformation and misogynistic misinformation flourishes on social media platforms. So-called gender trolling is specifically aimed at silencing women and removing them from public life. The stories may be false, but the damage done is very real,” Guterres said.

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One of the focuses of her speech was the situation in Afghanistan, where the Taliban regime has deteriorated women’s rights, with restrictions such as segregation by sex in public places, the imposition of the veil or the obligation to be accompanied by a male relative. on long trips, in addition to prohibiting girls from studying.

“In Afghanistan, women and girls have been erased from public life. In many places, women’s sexual and reproductive rights are being rolled back. In some countries, girls who go to school are at risk of being kidnapped and assaulted. police prey on vulnerable women they are sworn to protect,” she reported.

Read more: Taliban ban women from attending universities in Afghanistan

He highlighted that the covid-19 pandemic and the wars in the world, from Ukraine to the Sahel, affected women and girls in the first place.

Technology and inovation

In his keynote address to the session, which this year will address gender differences in technology and innovation, the UN Secretary-General also emphasized that women and girls are lagging behind in the technology race.

“Three billion people are still not connected to the internet, and most of them are women and girls in developing countries. And in less developed countries, only 19% of women are online”, he denounced.

Drawing on more data, Guterres also pointed out that girls and women make up only a third of science, technology, engineering and maths students and warned that the gender gap is even greater in the artificial intelligence sector, where “only one in five workers is a woman”.

Patriarchy strikes back

“Centuries of patriarchy, discrimination and harmful stereotypes have created a huge gender gap in science and technology. Artificial intelligence is shaping our future worlds. We hope it doesn’t do so with a gender bias,” he added.

“Without the acumen and creativity of half the world, science and technology will only realize half of its potential,” warned Guterres.

He made an urgent appeal to empower women and improve their employment and educational situation and increase their income level. Furthermore, he urged political leaders to promote the full participation of women and girls in science and technology leadership.

“Patriarchy strikes back, but we will respond. I am here to say it loud and clear: the United Nations stands with women and girls everywhere,” Guterres said, assuring that the UN will never give up the fight for fundamental rights.

as/rk (Efe, Lusa, AFP)


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