Stressing on the 'alarming levels of femicide', United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday issued a 'call to action for human rights' at the 43rd regular session of the UN Human Rights Council. Guterres made the appeal at the start of the latest Human Rights Council session in Geneva, known as the council's 'high-level segment' as it hosts a parade of dignitaries.
He pinpointed the rising attacks on human rights and said that violence against women and girls is the world's most pervasive human rights abuse. Moreover, he emphasized the importance of human rights for ensuring gender equality and equal rights for women and raked up the issue of women's participation in political leadership.
"We are seeing a pushback against women's rights, alarming levels of femicide, attacks on women human rights defenders, and the persistence of laws and policies that perpetuate subjugation and exclusion. We also continue to see chronic stagnation in women's participation in political leadership roles, peace processes and economic inclusion," Guterres said.
"The gaps may vary but the roots and reasons are the same: power. For millennia, women have been systematically silenced, marginalized and ignored," he added.
The UN chief said he wanted to speak out now because 'human rights are under assault'. He further pledged to reach gender parity throughout the UN system by the year 2028 and called on the international community to support policies and legislation that promote gender parity.
"We pledge to reach gender parity throughout the UN system at all levels by 2028, apply a gender perspective to everything the United Nations does. Today, I call on every country to support policies and legislation that promote gender equality, repeal discriminatory laws, end violence against women and girls, ensure sexual and reproductive health and rights, and strive for women's equal representation and participation in all spheres," Guterres said at the forum.
The UN secretary also spoke out against rising racism, white supremacy and extremism.
(With Inputs from ANI)
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres pinpoints 'alarming levels of femicide'
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres points to 'alarming levels of femicide', call for action