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Statement by Sima Bahous, UN Under-Secretary-General and UN Women Executive Director on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, 25 November 2022
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Ryancia Henry is originally from Antigua and Barbuda, she moved four months ago to Montecito, California, to take up the position of Director of Housekeeping, managing a team of 60 people, at a hotel that has now closed because of the COVID-19 outbreak. With international travel disrupted, and movement restrictions within the United States of America, Ryancia is among millions of workers in the hospitality industry considering what the long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic will be on her, her staff, her family and her friends.
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In a statement, UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo Ngcuka calls on governments to recognize both the enormity of the contribution women make and the precarity of so many in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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The contribution of women and girls, particularly those living with HIV, is indispensable in the HIV response at the community level. Women and girls provide critical care for family and community members living with HIV, and help ensure they start and stay on treatment.
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This year’s celebration of International Women’s Day is the first within the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls are confidently asserted in that Agenda as intrinsic to progress. In her 2016 message, UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka says: “Each one of us is needed—in our countries, communities, organizations, governments and in the United Nations—to ensure decisive, visible and measurable actions are taken under the banner: Planet 50-50: Step It Up for Gender Equality.”
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One hundred years ago, when the world first commemorated International Women’s Day, gender equality and women’s empowerment were largely radical ideas.