Ban Ki Moon: We need a world of equal opportunities

The United Nations Secretary-General, Ban ki Moon stated on Monday, that it is his heart desire to see a world of equal opportunities for both men and women. He stated this in a keynote speech at the Young Women’s Congress for Global Partnership hosted by the Duksung Women’s University in conjunction with UN Women.

Discrimination against women hampers progress in alleviating world poverty and costs Asia-Pacific economies tens of billions of dollars a year, the U.N. Secretary General said.

Ban said in his speech, “Gender discrimination blocks progress. Equality makes it possible to achieve huge breakthroughs”.

Women make up a fraction of all chief executives of the world’s biggest companies, fewer than one in 10 national leaders are female and fewer than one in five parliamentarians are women, he said.

He delineated the threat of gender bias against the women and said that it consequences hamper the global economy. He continued that “the lack of women’s representation — of women’s empowerment — affects individual women’s rights — and it holds back the whole countries”.

One recent U.N. study, he said, showed that limits on women’s economic participation cost the Asia-Pacific region nearly US$90 billion a year in lost productivity.

Helping women was crucial to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on poverty reduction by 2015.

Ban derided the habit of women working like giants and eating like ants. He stated that women work far more than what they earn and seized the opportunity to discourage such act. He said that “Women did more work for less pay than men and far more girls were shut out of primary school than boys. Two-thirds of the 780 million people in the world who cannot read (illiterates) were women.

A woman still died every 90 seconds from complications related to pregnancy or childbirth, adding that he was heading a global movement to end these needless deaths.

“We are moving on all fronts to invest in women so they can reach their full potential, drive development and lead us to a better future,” he said.

The UN Chief used the opportunity to encourage men in power to give more elective and appointive posts to women. He specifically pleaded with the Mayor of Seoul Metropolitan Government, Park Won-soon who was also in attendance to appoint more women in major posts.

The Young Women’s Congress for Global Partnership was held on Aug. 10-14. In the program, the participants who consisted of 480 university student delegates from 86 Asian and African universities, 240 international students representing 10 African nations and 26 Asian nations and 240 Korean women students representing 44 Korean universities, participated in several seminars like Development of Women’s Advocacy Institutions in a Global Society, Women’s Role in Securing Human Life, Gender-Oriented Business Modeling, Promoting Gender Equity, Empowerment of Women: A New Strategy, Women’s Role in World Peace, Smart Device Applications for Women, and Arts & Design: When Modern Meets Tradition.

Uwalaka Temple U.B Intern Reporter

Search in Site