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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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Wanda Nowicka raised issues faced by the women of the Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) region at the Beijing Conference in 1995. Since then she has been working tirelessly towards the implementation of the Conference’s outcomes. She is a Member of Polish Parliament and Deputy Speaker of the Sejm – the main chamber of the Polish Parliament.
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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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Teresa Oleszczuk is a women’s rights activist who took part in the Beijing Conference in 1995. She is one of the founders of the La Strada Foundation against Trafficking in Persons and Slavery, an organization that works to combat human trafficking in Poland and in several countries across Europe.
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Accusations of sorcery are widespread in the communities of the highlands in Papua New Guinea. Often for deaths or illness, for theft or accident, the cause is believed to be sorcery, with the villain more often than not being allegedly a woman. Protecting many such wrongly accused women is human rights defender Monica Paulus. Fearless, determined and outspoken, she rescues women and girls accused of sorcery, preventing many from violent punishment, or death.