The impact of new coronavirus affects health, economy, and society in general. The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres recently pointed out that the pandemic “has exposed and exacerbated the considerable hurdles women and girls face in achieving their rights and fulfilling their potential.”
In an online meeting in which young woman participated, on behalf of the civil society organizations, it was reported that gender inequality has deepened this year, which means a setback regarding all the women’s equity and rights that took decades to become guaranteed.
Guterres stated that there is a substantial increase in gender-based violence, low wages, the link to informal employment and unpaid home caring related to the shutdown of schools and the need of older people. He also warned about “without a proper response, we risk losing a generation or more of gains.”
That is why he highlighted that it is a top priority for the United Nations the protection of the rights of women and girls. Last July, this international organization urged governments to take concrete actions to safeguard women and girls’ inclusion, representation, rights, social and economic outcomes, and protection.
Antonio Guterres also explained that “governments must take a holistic view of the health impact of this pandemic. All women have a right to quality, affordable sexual and reproductive health services. Governments have a responsibility to make sure women and girls can access these services, even during a crisis.”
“This is the time to rebuild more equal, inclusive societies. Our roadmap is the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”
Similarly, Ms. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women, expressed her concern about girls not going back to schools due to the effects of coronavirus, which can lead to girls affected by harmful practices.
Due to the complexity and spreading of this phenomenon, both executives coincided in the importance of the support provided by governments, academic and private sector, civil society, and all institutions to gain back what has been lost.
Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Díaz / CubaSí Translation Staff