UN ‘Step it Up’ Initiative for Gender Equality

UN ‘Step it Up’ Initiative for Gender EqualityUN ‘Step it Up’ Initiative for Gender Equality

The 2016 theme for International Women’s Day is “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality”. The United Nations observance on March 8 will reflect on how to accelerate the 2030 Agenda, building momentum for the effective implementation of the new Sustainable Development Goals.

It will equally focus on new commitments under UN Women’s Step It Up initiative, and other existing commitments on gender equality, women’s empowerment and women’s human rights, reports

UN undersecretary general and executive director of UN women, Phumzile Mlambo Ngcuk, called on the international community to “Step it up for gender equality” in her message to mark the day.

This year’s celebration of International Women’s Day is the first in the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, she said.

The new agenda’s Sustainable Development Goals include a specific goal to achieve gender equality.

“To arrive at the future we want, we cannot leave anyone behind. We have to start with those who are the least regarded. These are largely women and girls, although in poor and troubled areas, they can also include boys and men,” she said.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said he has signed nearly 150 letters of appointment to women in positions of assistant secretary-general or under-secretary-general.

He called for empowerment of women as “agents of change” in his message to mark the International Women’s Day.

In poor parts of the world, women still face the risk of dying in the process of giving birth and girls are attacked even today, Ban said.

“We can only address these problems by empowering women as agents of change,” he said, as reported by Xinhua news agency.

“When I arrived at the UN, there were no women leading our peace missions in the field. Now, nearly a quarter of all UN missions are headed by women, far from enough but still a vast improvement,” he added.