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U.N. chief declares women's inequality 'stupid' and a global shame

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U.N. chief declares women's inequality 'stupid' and a global shame

By Michelle Nichols

 

2020-02-28T014929Z_1_LYNXNPEG1R03H_RTROPTP_4_WOMEN-RIGHTS.JPG

FILE PHOTO: Antonio Guterres, United Nations (UN) Secretary General, speaks at a news conference at the 32nd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Heads of State and the Government of the African Union (AU) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, February 10, 2019. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri/File Photo

 

(Reuters) - United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called women's inequality "stupid" and a cause for global shame on Thursday, as he pledged to press governments to end discriminatory laws in the face of a "strong and relentless pushback" against women's rights.

 

While Guterres did not name and shame, U.S. President Donald Trump's administration has led a push at the U.N. against the promotion of sexual and reproductive health services for women because the administration sees that as code for abortion.

 

Speaking ahead of the annual meeting of the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women in New York next month, Guterres warned that the state of women's rights was dire and said he would seek to end "default male thinking" across the United Nations.

 

"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," Guterres said in a speech to The New School in New York.

 

He said legal protections against rape and domestic violence were being diluted or rolled back and that in 34 countries rape within marriage was still legal.

 

"There is a strong and relentless pushback against women's rights," Guterres said. "Women's sexual and reproductive rights are under threat from different sides."

 

Language promoting women's sexual and reproductive health is long-agreed internationally, including in resolutions adopted by the Security Council in 2009 and 2013 and several resolutions adopted annually by the 193-member General Assembly.

 

However, the United States under Trump has pushed to remove such language from new U.N. resolutions. The Trump administration also cut funding in 2017 for the U.N. Population Fund because it believed it was linked to an abortion programme, but the U.N. said that was an inaccurate perception.

 

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1973 that women have the right to choose whether or not to have an abortion but the issue is still divisive in the United States.

 

"The U.N. should not put itself in a position of promoting or suggesting a right to abortion, whether it is humanitarian or development work," U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Kelly Craft, said in October.

 

The United States has received support for its stance from countries including Russia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Brazil, Guatemala, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Sudan, Uganda, Poland and Hungary.

 

"I find it pretty strange that the United States is mobilizing so hard on this issue ... because if you look at the bigger picture is the main threat to the world today abortions? Or is it an assertive China? A Russia that is expansionist? Let's just get our focus right here," said a senior European diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity.

 

Last year Washington threatened to veto a Security Council resolution if a reference was not cut citing the need for U.N. bodies and donors to give timely "sexual and reproductive health" assistance to survivors of sexual violence in conflict.

 

Guterres said on Thursday he would urge governments to achieve gender parity in senior leadership. He said he achieved gender parity among his senior leadership team - on Jan. 1, 90 women and 90 men were in the ranks of full-time senior leadership, two years ahead of the target date he set.

 

"Women have equalled and outperformed men in almost every sphere," he said. "It is time to stop trying to change women, and start changing the systems that prevent them from achieving their potential."

 

(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Tom Brown and Grant McCool)

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2020-02-28
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So says an elderly, rich white guy  lol

(but actually it is obvious that equality is a human right)

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2 hours ago, BobBKK said:

So says an elderly, rich white guy  lol

(but actually it is obvious that equality is a human right)

Absolutely but we must all remember that some people are more equal than others 🤨

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If the UN general secretary is keen to push back against the erosion of female rights, America should be at the bottom of his list.

 

Women in the US and across the West generally are the envy of their downtrodden sisters in many parts of the world - particularly nations where Islam and Sharia are dominant.

 

The figures the Secretary General trotted out speak for themselves. More than half the 34 UN member states he accused of "diluting or rolling back" legal protections against rape and domestic violence are Islamic majority countries.

 

Eighteen Muslim nations, including Iraq, Egypt, and Indonesia only permit abortion if the life of the mother is threatened by the pregnancy. They should be the UN's highest priority for change.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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9 hours ago, webfact said:

Women have equalled and outperformed men in almost every sphere," he said. "It is time to stop trying to change women, and start changing the systems that prevent them from achieving their potential."

Completely agree. 

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12 minutes ago, Bluespunk said:

Completely agree. 

Which parts of the system need changing ?

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5 hours ago, DoctorG said:

This statement is contradictory. 

No, it is not.

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Sport men

Cars men

Driving men

Map reading men

Building men

Roads men

Planes men

Pilots men

Surgeons men

Space men

Logic men

Nagging women

 

Cleaning women

 

Yep women win

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Try for World peace first, stick to your knitting 

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52 minutes ago, sanemax said:

Which parts of the system need changing ?

Any and all that block true equality. 

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3 minutes ago, Bluespunk said:

Any and all that block true equality. 

Yes, those should be changed 

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10 hours ago, webfact said:

The United States has received support for its stance from countries including Russia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Brazil, Guatemala, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Sudan, Uganda, Poland and Hungary.

Quite a list of countries to be in?

 

Most of the countries he admires have changed their religious stance first so...

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