UN Secretary: 'Terrible campaigns' are running against women activists and politicians on social media

He suggested that every country should have an emergency plan to fight violence against women.

PTIUpdated: Wednesday, October 19, 2022, 04:27 PM IST
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United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres |

Mumbai: United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres pointed out that female activists and politicians are being targeted on social media. He mentioned that "terrible campaigns" are run against women activists and female politicians on social media and that violence through social media is "enormous,", he noted.

While interacting with students at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay here, Guterres said, "Every country should have an emergency plan to fight violence against women," He added that it should cover all aspects, such as training of the police and judiciary, and make sure that "there is clear accountability in society in relation to violence against women." He noted that the question of gender equality is essentially a question of power.

Much more needs to be done to advance gender equality in India

The top UN official said that in India, as across the world, much more needs to be done to advance gender equality and women's rights.

Guterres said that this is the "moral imperative" and also a multiplier for prosperity and sustainability, adding that no society can reach its full potential without "equal rights and freedoms for women, men, girls and boys." "Violence against women is a matter of not only importance, but it is an emergency. Because things are getting worse, not better," the UN secretary general said.

The UN Secretary also termed violence against women a "big cancer" and called for an "emergency plan" to tackle it in every country.

UN is working on gender parity

The UN is working to achieve gender parity within its own organization, he said.

"I must confess that there is one problem that I did not manage to solve. Many people thought. and I fully respect that, the secretary general of the United Nations must be a woman," he said.

More than half the women at the top management level in the UN are women, Guterres said, adding that they are occupying posts like head of the department of political affairs and mission heads in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Violence against women is a 'big cancer'

"The big cancer of violence against women needs to be an emergency priority for all those that have responsibilities in the world," he said.

"We live in a male-dominated world with a male-dominated culture," Guterres said, adding that gender parity is necessary at the top level so that decisions are taken in a way that makes gender equality a "downstream phenomenon." On the other hand, there is also a need to support all women's organisations and have a bottom-up approach to generate equality, he added.

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