The United Nations Secretary-General warns humanity faces a stark and urgent choice: a breakdown or a breakthrough. His report Our Common Agenda advocates for action to accelerate the implementation of existing agreements, including the Sustainable Development Goals.
Chapter 2 explains social protection systems are critical to achieving the SDGs, and that humanity’s greatest resource is our own collective capacity, half of which has historically been constrained because of gender discrimination. No meaningful social contract is possible without the active and equal participation of women and girls. Women’s equal leadership, economic inclusion, and gender-balanced decision-making are simply better for everyone, men and women alike.
The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the Global Acceleration Plan for Gender Equality point the way. I urge Member States and other stakeholders to consider five related and transformative measures:
(a) the full realisation of equal rights
(b) measures to promote gender parity, including quotas
(c) facilitating women’s economic inclusion, including investment in the care economy and equal pay
(d) greater inclusion of the voices of younger women and
(e) an emergency response plan to accelerate the eradication of violence against women and girls.