Phumzile Mlambo Ngcuka, UN Women Executive Director and Global South African, in her message inaugurating the 59th session of the Commission on the Status of Women applauded global progress in the mission of empowering women but called on countries to lead substantial change towards gender equality in the next five years, in order to attain Planet 50-50 by 2030.
“In 2030 we want to be able to talk about a world that has achieved gender equality” said the former South African Deputy President. Mlambo-Ngcuka said “The bold, brave acts of one head of state, one student leader, one young man, can lead far-reaching change, and changing the power relations between men and women”.
On Tuesday (10 March) at a star-studded event in New York City, high-powered speakers took to the stage to put out a clarion call: a firm expiry date of 2030 for gender inequality, with real equality being nothing short of 50-50. The packed Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality event was a UN Women-hosted celebration for the 20th anniversary of the historic Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing.
Speakers called for bolder actions from governments and louder mobilization from citizens to move forward the agenda on women’s rights and gender equality, saying progress in the last 20 years has been too slow.
Keynote speeches from President of Liberia Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton opened the evening, which brought together politics, arts, philanthropy and activism in a powerful combination to support the rights of women and girls worldwide to an audience of some 2,000 people.
Emphasizing the leitmotif of the evening Mlambo-Ngcuka underlined the benefits of a gender-equal society, and the need for immediate concerted action, saying: “This evening celebrates women’s achievements since Beijing; it’s also a moment to gather up and focus our combined energy on the task ahead. Tonight, I am putting out an SOS to the world: let’s STEP IT UP. We can no longer leave behind half the world’s population. Women and girls are essential equal partners for real progress, for peace, for development and for a world in balance”.
It was also announce this week that UN Women and Uber are launching a partnership to work together around the world towards a shared vision of equality and women’s empowerment.
Uber intend to invest in long-term programmes in local communities where we live and work, as Uber commits to creating 1,000,000 jobs for women globally on the Uber platform by 2020.
Uber said in a statement; “this important mission can only be accomplished when all women have direct access to safe and equitable earning opportunities. We look forward to a partnership where UN Women and Uber will drive more access to these types of opportunities around the world”.