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We can no longer accept discrimination of women: Official
March 09, 2018
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GENEVA: On the occasion of International Women’s Day 2018, celebrated on March 8, the Chairman of the Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue, Dr Hanif Hassan Ali Al Qassim has reiterated the importance of empowering and giving a voice to women worldwide so as to achieve gender equality.

“This year, the International Women’s Day is celebrated against the backdrop of an unprecedented mobilisation for women’s rights, equality and justice,” he added.

From the private sector, to the film and art industry and the political scene, women worldwide have been joining their voices, coming together to denounce discrimination, violence, sexual harassment and abuse. In this context, according to UN Women, the theme for International Women’s Day 2018 is “Time is now: Rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives.”

The year 2018 is therefore the year of women activists who, propelled by a mounting determination for change, are striving for their rights and for their place in societies worldwide.  Dr. Hanif underscored, “The time has come to definitively end the silent, but persistent injustice that women have been subjected to for years, in the workplace and in society in general. The time has come to listen and to act for real equality. We can no longer accept that half of the world’s population be discriminated against, abused, harassed and not given its well-deserved place at the leadership table.”

Around the world, companies, public institutions, and even the UN, are taking stock of their progress and of the remaining challenges with regard to gender equality. Today, for the first time in history, the UN has achieved gender parity at senior level, with 23 women and 21 men forming the current senior leadership. “At the behest of women movements bourgeoning worldwide, from metropoles to rural settings, change is happening. Women are empowering themselves,” Dr. Al Qassim pointed out.

He noted that, however successful women’s movements such as the Women’s March, #MeToo or #TimesUp had been in raising awareness on gender bias, a lot of work remained to be done in order to achieve parity.

He recalled that the Gender Gap Report issued by the World Economic Forum in November 2017 warned that at the current pace, it would take 217 years to completely close the gender gap in the economic field, notably as regards the wage gap and the blatant absence of women from leadership and senior positions.


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