Women's equality can add US$ 12 trillion to global growth: UN chief

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Professor Amivi Kafui Tete-Benissan (left) teaches cell biology and biochemistry at the University of Lomé, in the capital of Togo. Photo: World Bank/ Stephan Gladieu

Equality for women can add US$ 12 trillion to global growth in the next decade, the UN Secretary-General said on Monday quoting a recent study on the topic.

António Guterres made the remarks at the opening of the 61st session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) on Monday.

The Commission is one of the largest annual gatherings of leaders, NGOs, the private sector, UN partners and activists around the world to discuss the rights and empowerment of women and girls.

Jocelyne Sambira has the details.

Women still earn less than men even as they shoulder the enormous burden of unpaid care and domestic work, according to the UN.

This year's CSW session will focus on women's economic empowerment in the changing world of work.

Male chauvinism blocks women and that hurts everyone, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said.

"We are better off when doors of opportunity are open to women and girls", he added, calling for the world to address a "historic injustice" that continues to this day.

"If countries address the gender gap at work, women can generate enough funds to underpin success across the 2030 Agenda which was approved by all leaders at the United Nations in 2015. One study found that women's equality can add twelve trillion dollars to global growth over the next decade. Women and girls with better reproductive health and education have better chances in life. They earn higher salaries. They invest more in the health of their children. Investments now pay dividends for generations."

Nearly a billion women will enter the global economy in the next decade and their empowerment will lead us to a new future, Mr Guterres noted.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’18″

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