UNITED NATIONS, (Xinhua) — UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday called on the international community to work harder to provide better opportunities for women and girls as gender equality remains the greatest human rights challenge of our time.
“I look forward to a time when all societies everywhere can reap the benefits of gender equality,” Ban said at the high-level panel on women’s economic empowerment event at UN Headquarters in New York, co-organized by the panel’s secretariat and UN Women.
“As I said this week to the General Assembly — and the world — I am proud to call myself a feminist,” he said, referring to his speech delivered at the opening of the annual high-level debate of the UN General Assembly on Tuesday.
“I firmly believe in a ’50-50 planet’,” Ban said.
“One way of achieving this goal is through women’s economic empowerment,” the secretary-general said. “This is a uniquely potent way for women to have greater choice and exert control over their own lives. At the same time, it will benefit their families, their communities and their countries’ economies.”
The high-level panel is backed by the UN Women, the UN International Labour Organization, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, with support for its work provided by the British Department for International Development.
The UN chief said that he has “great faith” in the panel, and he also thanked the panel for its strong commitment and leadership.