UN Secretary-General, António Guterres called on International Women's Day today to empower women, as the only way to protect their rights and ensure that they reach their full potential.
In his message for the date, the official warned that the situation of women and girls is worsening in many parts of the world, victims of discrimination, violence and lack of opportunities, among other evils.
'Women's rights are human rights. However, in these difficult times, while our world becomes more unpredictable and chaotic, the rights of women and girls are reduced, limited and revoked, 'he warned.
According to the UN Secretary-General, the historical imbalances in power relations between men and women, aggravated by increasing inequalities within societies and countries, are leading to greater discrimination against women.
'The rights of women, who have never been the same as those of men on any continent, are eroding even more. The right of the woman over her own body is being questioned and undermined. Women are systematically subjected to intimidation and harassment both in cyberspace and in real life, 'he lamented.
Guterres also condemned that extremists and terrorists build their ideologies around the subjugation of women, including girls, whom they use as a target of sexual and gender-based violence, subjected them to forced marriages and make them live virtually in conditions of slavery.
He also criticized that despite some progress in recent years, they remain affected by the economic disparity and less access to positions in different sectors and levels of society.
The Secretary-General considered that the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development represents an opportunity for the international community to move towards gender equality and the empowerment of women.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, insisted on the urgent need to abandon practices, sometimes translated into laws, aimed at controlling women's decisions about their bodies, health and life.
Zeid offered his support to the women who are fighting for their rights in the five continents.
It is time to unite, to protect the achievements and support them, he stated.
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