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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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Edelfride Barbosa Almeida is an economist and founding member of one of the first NGOs in Cabo Verde to promote gender equality, Morabi. She participated in the parallel forum of the Fourth World Conference on Women, held specifically for NGOs, in Huairou, China and is the current President of the Cabo Verdian Association for Family Protection, VerdeFam . The Fourth World Conference on Women [where the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action were adopted] was a great opportunity to...
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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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On the islands of the archipelago that make up Cabo Verde, a country off the coast of western Africa, she is a household name. One of youngest Members of Parliament in the country, dynamic, bold, and passionate, Graça Sanches, became a parliamentarian at the age of 30 through sheer force of will. With her current role, she is also the President of the Network of Women Parliamentarians, a group that collaborates with relentless tenacity to ensure that women are included in policy and legislation planning. Graça Sanches acts as a galvanizing force for the National Assembly to include women’s voices at every turn.
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Delphine Nana Mekounte, 60, was Cameroon’s National Coordinator for NGOs at the time of the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995. She is now the Director General of CEFEPROD (Women’s Centre for Promoting Development), a nongovernmental organization that promotes the economic, social and cultural development of women and youth.