Senior United Nations officials today stressed the need to promote the participation of women in decision-making, noting that democracy and gender equality are interlinked and mutually reinforcing.
“While women’s political participation improves democracy, the reverse is also true: democracy is an incubator for gender equality,” Secretary-General
Ban Ki-moon said in his remarks
at a roundtable held at UN Headquarters on gender equality and democracy.
“It provides public space for discussion of human rights and women’s empowerment. It enables women’s groups to mobilize. It makes it easier for women to realize their political, civil, economic and social rights.”
He told participants at the event, which included representatives from various UN departments and entities, as well as the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, that one need look no further than the daily headlines to see the timeliness of today’s gathering.
“Women were among those who marched in Côte d’Ivoire to uphold the democratic will of the people – with several of them killed for making that stand,” said Mr. Ban. “In Egypt, Tunisia and elsewhere, women have been among those in the vanguard demanding change, rights, dignity, and opportunity.”
Noting gender inequality in decision-making remains a great impediment to democracy, the Secretary-General said more must be done to address the gender gap in democratic participation.
(Source: UN News Centre)