UN Secretary General Warns It will take another 300 Years to Achieve Gender Equality

When opening an important conference on women’s issues on Monday (6/3), Secretary General of the United Nations (UN), Antonio Guterres, warned that with the current conditions, it is estimated that gender equality will only be achieved in 300 years.

“Decades of progress are evaporating before our eyes,” Antonio Guterres said at the start of a meeting of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).

CSW, as it is known, is expected to attract more than 4,000 government ministers, diplomats and members of civil society at its annual two-week meeting. The meeting will discuss how to improve the lives of women around the world. The meeting was the first to be held in person since the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

Guterres at the opening session said CSW was all the more important at a time when women’s rights are “abused, threatened and violated around the world.”

The theme of this year’s meeting is “Technological innovation and change, and education in the digital era to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.” The conference and its dozens of side events will address how a disproportionate lack of access to the internet hinders women and girls globally.

“Three billion people are still not connected to the internet, the vast majority of whom are women and girls in developing countries,” said Guterres. “In less developed countries, only 19 percent of women have access to the internet.”

Globally, the UN says men working in the technology industry outnumber women, by 2 to 1. Meanwhile, only 28 percent of engineering graduates and 22 percent of workers in the artificial intelligence (AI) sector are women. In addition, there is also a significant gender pay gap of 21 percent. [my/lt]

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