Image: Nagaraj Naidu Kakanur (Twitter/@NagNaidu08)
The increasing global pushback against rights of women and girls and their declining security and safety continue to be alarming, a senior official said on Monday.
Addressing a pre-event conference ahead of the G20 third Development Working Group meeting in Goa, Nagaraj Naidu Kakanur, Joint Secretary (G20), Union Ministry of External Affairs, said it is 2023 and if someone says it may take another 286 years to achieve gender equality, then it only represents "our collective failure" in addressing this issue.
He said women and girls represent half of the world's population and, therefore, also half of its potential.
In today's exceptionally challenging context, gender equality and women's empowerment are key to achieving the vision of "leave no one behind”, he said.
“The increasing global pushback against the rights of women and girls and the declining security and safety for women and girls continue to be alarming,” Kakanur said in his address.
He said all men and boys are key partners "to embrace and advance the agenda for gender equality" and women's empowerment.
“However, without heightened commitment from the global community, gender equality will remain nothing more than an unrealised goal,” he added.
Kakanur said social and political empowerment are crucial stepping stones in increasing women's "voice, choice and agency." In an age that is largely shaped by technological advances, having the know-how and the opportunity to design, manufacture, operate and use technology and science-based solution will be critical to the advancement of young people, he said.
It is also crucial for the health, education, voice and empowerment of girls and women and to deliver on the promise of girls' education and women empowerment agenda in the 21st century, the official said.
He said the time to act and invest in women and girls is “now.” “To build generation equality, our only choice is to unleash women's full potential through a women-led development approach, which calls for women's full, equal, effective and meaningful participation as decision makers for addressing global challenges effectively, decisively and inclusively,” he said.
The third Development Working Group meeting of G20 will be held in Goa from Tuesday and culminate on Thursday.
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