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UN Women joins all indigenous peoples everywhere, especially indigenous women and girls, in commemorating the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. This year’s theme of “Indigenous Languages” challenges us to ensure that indigenous women and girls have a voice—quite literally—in the diverse political, civil, social, economic and cultural spaces that they occupy.
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In a statement for International Women's Day, UN Secretary-General António Guterres says: "Gender equality and women’s rights are fundamental to global progress on peace and security, human rights and sustainable development".
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In a statement following the murders of environmental activist Lesbia Yaneth in Honduras and Jo Cox in the United Kingdom, UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka calls for collective action on discrimination against political harassment and violence against women.
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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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In her statement to mark this year’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka says “if we all work together: governments, civil society organizations, the UN system, businesses, schools, and individuals mobilizing through new solidarity movements, we will eventually achieve a more equal world—a Planet 50-50—where women and girls can and will live free from violence”.
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A hundred years ago today, women across the world took an historic step on the long road to equality. The first ever International Women’s Day was called to draw attention to the unacceptable and often dangerous working conditions that so many women faced worldwide.
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Speech delivered by Ms. Michelle Bachelet, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director, at the opening of the First Regular Session of the Executive Board of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), 24 January 2011.