UN official: Gender equality battle is ‘difficult’

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The top UN gender equality official said on Tuesday that more must be done to fight violence against women and to achieve gender equality.

UN Women’s Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka expressed cautious optimism ahead of the next year’s 25th anniversary of the conference that adopted the only international platform to achieve women’s rights and empowerment.

She pointed out, however, that “right now, there is not a single country that has achieved gender equality.”

Mlambo-Ngcuka also noted that women and girls continue to suffer discrimination and violence in every part of the world.

The 150-page platform for action to achieve gender equality was adopted by 189 governments at the 1995 Beijing women’s conference.

Mlambo-Ngcuka said that the platform has pushed countries around the world to create specific laws and government bodies dedicated to addressing the issue.

She also praised the #MeToo movement, saying she hopes it continues and dismissing any notion that it unfairly victimizes men.

She said any backlash against the movement “just shows how much the world has not understood the pain of women.”

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