Progress In Gender Equality, Too Slow And In Danger, According To The UN

The progress in gender equality of the last 25 years has been too slow and, in addition, they are in serious danger, with setbacks in some areas and with increasing resistance to the progress made by women, the UN warned on Wednesday. The organization has reviewed in a report what happened since the adoption in 1995 of the so-called Beijing Declaration, the first major global commitment on women’s rights. And its main conclusions are worrisome: the change has not been enough to even approach equality and, worse still, some achievements are now under threat. “Progress is painfully slow,” denounced the executive director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, at a press conference, in which she stressed that, despite being half of the world’s population, women remain “cornered in a fourth part of space “. “75% of legislators are men. 72% of executive positions are held by men. 70% of climate negotiators are men and, when it comes to peace negotiators, it is even worse,” he said as examples. EDUCATION AND HEALTH, THE BIG ADVANCES According to Mlambo-Ngcuka, the fields in which most progress has been made are those in which the States have made “targeted investments”, that is, in education and health. Thus, today more girls who never go to school and, on average, parity has been achieved in this area, although there are still differences in some countries. Maternal mortality, meanwhile, has been reduced very significantly, with a fall of 38% between 2000 and 2017. “We still have problems in these areas, but they are not for not having tried,” said the head of UN Women, vice president of South Africa between 2005 and 2008. SIGNAL SIGNALS In other areas, UN Women believes that progress has been too slow and that there are also signs that there is stagnation. “It is particularly worrying that the context for accelerating progress is not nearly as promising as it was in 1995,” Silke Staab, a Research and Data Specialist at UN Women, told reporters. According to this expert, today there is a resurgence of “misogynist and xenophobic” groups and a “resistance against progress of gender equality that cost a lot to achieve.” One of the fields that most worries UN Women is that of economic empowerment, with very little progress in the participation of women in the labor market and when it comes to sharing domestic tasks, which continue to fall mainly on women and deprive them of job opportunities especially when they are mothers. The consequence is that women aged 25 to 34 have a 25% greater chance of living in extreme poverty than men. THE MACHIST VIOLENCE Another field with little progress is violence against women, which continues without diminishing substantially. Almost one in five women has suffered violence from a close person in the last twelve months, according to United Nations data. Although many countries have passed laws against domestic abuse in the last 25 years, their application remains low, says UN Women. In addition, women now face new forms of violence such as cyberbullying, for which there are not too many solutions for now by the authorities. SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH On the other hand, despite the great advances in maternal health, women’s sexual and reproductive rights remain far from being fully respected. For example, the UN points out that the proportion of women without access to family planning methods has not changed since 2000. “Today, more than 190 million women who want to avoid becoming pregnant do not have the means to do so. That’s 190 millions of women who have no control over their own bodies, “Staab explained. THE HOPE OF YOUNG PEOPLE For UN Women, one of today’s great hopes is the growing mobilization of younger feminists and the new alternatives they are proposing. Her voice was brought to the United Nations on Thursday by the Mexican Anya Victoria Delgado, representative of the Feminist Alliance for Rights organization, who stressed that young women are demanding to act more urgently and need help. “In the current climate of resistance we are seeing attempts to close spaces that allow us to speak and expand our voices in defense of women’s human rights. I am here to say that we will not give up and that we need the international community to be with us, “he defended. Mario Villar