NEW YORK, The benefits of gender equality are not just for women and girls, but "for everyone whose lives will be changed by a fairer world," the chief of UN Women said in her message for International Women’s Day, IWD, at UN Headquarters on Friday, being celebrated in New York, ahead of the official day.

Women’s rights and gender equality are taking centre stage in 2020. This year’s theme for International Women’s Day (8 March) is, "I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights".

As a "massive year for gender equality," Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka said 2020 was all about "Generation Equality", in which "we’re mobilising to realise women’s rights, and to mark 25 years of implementing the Beijing Platform for Action" – the historic and landmark gender equality plan drawn up in the Chinese capital.

Generation Equality is focussing on issues facing women across generations, with young women and girls at the centre.

"We don’t have an equal world at the moment and women are angry and concerned about the future," she said. "They are radically impatient for change. It's an impatience that runs deep, and it has been brewing for years".

Mlambo-Ngcuka underscored that girls are disappointed with "the stewardship of our planet, the unabated violence directed against them and the slow pace of change in fulcrum issues like education".

"My greatest impatience is with unmoving economic inequality," calling it "a driver of repeating poverty."

She asserted that policies are needed that promote equality in childcare responsibilities and provide State support to families, and those who work in the informal economy.Though "radically impatient", Mlambo-Ngcuka said: "We are not giving up."

She cited as cause for hope, growing support in tackling gender-bias barriers; a "driving will" for change across generations and countries; and that the last 25 years "have shown us what is needed to accelerate action for equality."

Source: Emirates News Agency