UN Boss calls for "concrete measures" to realize women's economic rights

| Updated Sep 20, 2017 at 8:22am


UN Secretary-General António Guterres (center) speaking at a high-level event on women's economic empowerment. Photo: UN Women.


It is time to take "concrete measures" to realize gender equality and women's rights in the economy, the UN Secretary-General said in New York on Tuesday.

António Guterres was speaking at a roundtable discussion looking at actions and commitments needed to bring about women's economic empowerment, held on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

For Mr. Guterres, women's economic empowerment is also a human rights issue.

He reported that only 50 per cent of women of working age are currently in the labour force, compared to 77 per cent of men.

On average, he said, women are paid 23 per cent less than men; they also carry out at least two-and-a-half times more unpaid household and care work.

The UN chief cited studies which showed that if women were to participate equally in the economy, global GDP could rise by about US$12 trillion dollars: more than 25 per cent.

"It is the time to take concrete measures to realize our shared vision of gender equality and women's rights in the economy. Let us deliver on the promises we have made to promote peace, inclusive sustainable development, and human rights for all."

The panel discussion was centred around two reports produced by a UN High-Level Panel on Women's Economic Empowerment, launched in January 2016.

It includes influential leaders from government, business and civil society who provide recommendations on actions to improve economic outcomes for women.

Dianne Penn United Nations/GBC.