Sima Bahous: Gender equality – Pre-requisite and Catalyst for Progress


The Annual Session the UN Executive Board was held on Monday 19th June. The UN Women Executive Director, Sima Bahous gave a very inspiring and enlightening speech. In her opening note she welcomed everyone and thanked the prestigious women representatives from different countries across the globe.

She expressed her keenness in addressing the concerns on the state of gender inequality. Sima pointed at initiative that should be undertaken to bring about the changes in the backdrop of deepening inequality, economic instability, the deterioration of global peace and security including in Afghanistan, Ukraine, and Sudan among many others, including the rising food insecurity, climate change and more.

She said, “As the Secretary-General persistently reminds us, the 2030 Agenda is off-track.  We must do something different. This is equally true of the challenges around SDG 5 (Sustainable Development Goals). They are daunting. But at the same time, we all appreciate and understand that gender equality remains our best hope to bring all SDGs back on track. It is both prerequisite and catalyst for progress across the goals, bringing dividends in every space. However much it may cost to achieve those dividends, it is vastly more expensive to spurn them.

UN Women has been accelerating our collaboration in times of crisis, which I think should be a top priority for our mandate. As a result, during the past 10 years or so in particular, we have worked hard to develop our capacity so that we can contribute in situations of crisis where women and girls need the UN the most.  As in all other sectors, we work on the normative, coordinating, and operational levels, utilising the complementarity of our triple mandate.”

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