Implementing gender parity will be a "battle", the UN chief warns

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António Guterres (centre). UN Photo/Mark Garten

It's going to be a "battle" to have an equal number of men and women serving in governments, legislatures, public services and other areas of the economy and society, the UN Secretary-General warned on Friday.

António Guterres met with women's civil society groups on the margins of the 61st session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).

He also exchanged ideas and views about issues affecting women and girls around the world.

Jocelyne Sambira has the details.

Citing his decade of experience as the head of the UN Refugee Agency, António Guterres reflected on how people worldwide still lived in a "male-dominated world" and a "male-dominated culture".

He was speaking at a town hall meeting held during the CSW, an annual gathering at the UN to help shape global standards on gender equality and women's empowerment.

A solution to that, he suggests, is to make sure women and men are able – "in parity" – to assume equal responsibilities in all areas.

And so parity within the UN is a central objective, be it at the level of senior management or at the staff level, Mr Guterres stressed.

"This is a battle, this is a struggle, it goes against all the attempts to make it difficult. Nobody usually likes to lose their position and obviously gender parity means many women will be in positions occupied by men but that is a good thing. My experience is in the management of governments and organizations that when we have gender parity decisions are better, management is better, things are better done. So this is for me, a very central question."

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 41”

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