United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on February 27 called women’s inequality “stupid”, saying it should be a matter of shame in the 21st century. The UN chief said that Gender equality is a question of power, and we must urgently transform and redistribute power to safeguard our future and our planet.
“Just as slavery and colonialism were a stain on previous centuries, women’s inequality should shame us all in the 21st. Because it is not only unacceptable; it is stupid,” said Guterres.
Speaking on the subject of ‘Women and Power’ at the New School in New York, the UN Secretary-General said the men have jealously guarded the power for millennia. He added that the abuse of power has been damaging our communities, economies, environment, relationships and health.
“That is why all men should support women’s rights and gender equality. And why I am a proud feminist,” urged the UN chief.
Guterres highlighted that the male-dominated power structures underpin economies, political systems, and corporations. He underlined how the hidden layer of inequality is built into the institutions, and structures are based on the needs of just “half of the population”. The UN chief also expressed his gratitude for the younger generation who are working for gender equality and climate change while recognizing the reality of non-binary identities and solutions.
“Macho posturing will not save our planet. Gender equality, including men stepping up and taking responsibility, is essential if we are to beat the climate emergency,” he added.
Ahead of the annual meeting of the UN Commission on the Status of Women in New York, Guterres said that he is committed to ending the “default male” thinking across the United Nations. He pointed out that a data-driven organisation like the UN, through its data, should not make the “ridiculous” assumption that men are the norm and women are the exception.