The UN Deputy Secretary-General, Ms Amina Mohammed has said that it will take 170 years to achieve economic equality between men and women.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the former Minister said this while delivering her message to the Youth Forum of the Commission on the Status of Women. She said girls and women were being made to confront higher obstacles of opportunity than boys and men.
“Gender-based discrimination, marginalization, violence and other human rights abuses; unequal access to education, to health care; these are basic rights and also to opportunities for leadership and participation. This list goes on and on.
“The barriers are so high that it would take 170 years to achieve economic equality between women and men; 170 years!
“I’m sorry but I do not accept a world that says – equality is not good enough for you or me or our daughters,” she said.
She admonished young young women not to wait for opportunities that will come their way but should make them happen.
“I’m not waiting. I know you’re not waiting. When I was your age I was never waiting. I was always being told to take it easy or time will come.
“And I was always thinking my time is now. So, our world can’t wait. Building a better world won’t happen on its own,” she said.
“We live in a world that is out of balance. Eight people hold the same wealth as half of humanity. All of them are men, by the way.
The former Minister said investing in girls and women pays for families, communities and nations.
“So let’s focus on getting things done, taking those ambitions into real practicality, keeping in mind one of my favourite Nigerian proverbs: ‘Fine words do not produce food’.
“Rhetoric has its place but implementation matters – practical action. I am counting on you to be the change agents and torchbearers that we so desperately need.
“I know that you are well on your way. When I look out today, I do see the future. But I see it now. The actions that you can take as you walk out these doors.
“It’s a future of equality. A future of justice. A future of dignity for women and girls and for all humanity. Let’s make that happen.”