By Ritah Kemigisa
The United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres has expressed fear that achieving gender equality and empowering women and girls is the unfinished business of this era and continues to be the greatest human rights challenge in the world.
In his message for the international women’s day, Guterres says to make empowerment and parity a reality, the UN is now embarking on a campaign for zero tolerance to sexual harassment and has set out plans to improve reporting and accountability.
“This will create an environment where women and men can work together in full equality”, the UN Chief has told reporters in New York.
Meanwhile, African countries have been asked to highlight the need for gender equality in their push for sustainable socioeconomic development.
According to Dr Matshidiso Moeti, the World Health Regional Director for Africa, African countries need to recognize the achievements of women and take stock of efforts to accelerate women’s empowerment and gender parity.
Moeti acknowledges the fact that in countries like Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda, 30% of parliamentary seats are reserved for women.
While Rwanda has one of the highest rates of women representation in the world at 50%.
However, although the gender gap is narrowing, gender parity will only be achieved in about 100 years if current trends continue.