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In this op-ed for International Women’s Day, UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka looks at the mixed progress since the 1995 Beijing Conference. She urges for recommitment and an end point to achieving gender equality with substantial action now, and full equality before 2030.
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UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka has devoted her life to issues of human rights, equality and social justice and previously served as Deputy President of South Africa. In this message, she stresses that violence against women can and must end by addressing its root cause – gender inequality. She calls for greater mobilization to address the pandemic on many levels, from increasing access to services for survivors of violence to engaging all segments of society to shift cultural mindsets. This includes, for instance, getting men to stand up on the issue through UN Women’s #HeForShe campaign.
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A commitment was made by Prime Minister Abe and the government of Japan to advance women’s position in society at the recently held World Assembly for Women (WAW) in Tokyo. At the high-profile meeting he reaffirmed his commitment to spend nearly 3 billion US dollars on women’s empowerment initiatives over the next three years. Outlining the importance of equal rights of all citizens to education and health, he called upon all participants in the event to proceed in “creating a society where women will shine.”