Greater women's participation in society bolsters development: UN chief

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Secretary-General António Guterres meeting with youth leaders and women political aspirants in the Mathare slum of Nairobi, Kenya. Photo: UN Habitat/Julius Mwelu

The UN Secretary-General has appealed for greater women's participation in all aspects of society.

António Guterres was speaking in Kenya's capital, Nairobi, on Wednesday, International Women's Day, alongside the country's President, Uhuru Kenyatta.

Dianne Penn reports.

Mr Guterres, a former UN High Commissioner for Refugees, reflected on his time in that post.

He said he had witnessed women's suffering "in the most tragic circumstances" imaginable.

The UN chief said women's protection is "absolutely essential," but the only way for it to happen is to prioritize women's empowerment.

"To give full priority to the massive presence of women in government institutions, in political systems, in the business community, in the boards of companies and in peace negotiations, in all aspects in which societies are today developing. I do believe with a full presence of women in our societies, development will be stronger, peace will be more easy to maintain, human rights will also be better protected."

Mr Guterres also participated in an event to commemorate International Women's Day.

He later visited the Mathare slums in Nairobi, where he met with women political aspirants. 

Dianne Penn, United Nations. 

Duration: 1’03″

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