By Kyaw Thura
IT was in Beijing two decades ago that the Fourth World Conference on Women initiated equal rights as a global priority. Despite this, the world still witnesses gender inequality, with violence against women rampant, especially in underdeveloped countries.
The bright side, however, is that a growing number of girls have come to enjoy easier access to education than their mothers and grandmothers. Today, we have seen and heard more women become engaged in politics, business, education, health and beyond, even though the pace of progress is slow. Judging from this, gender equality is a shared goal. In other words, no single country can make it happen on its own. This propels the whole world to make a concerted effort to step up the momentum for rapid progress everywhere.
News that girls and women in search of education are still subject to extremist atrocities makes us see red. But there is no point getting infuriated at these denials of human rights unless we are willing to take action to stop them.
The celebration of International Women’s Day, which falls on 8 March, reminds us to come together in defence of equal rights for women all over the world. It is a time for all of us to speed up our effort to eliminate the vicious cycles of violence against women and girls. It is a time to accept that gender equality paves the way for economic growth, social integration and political stability, thereby ensuring human dignity. In the words of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, we must prioritize gender equality and unleash the power of girls and women so that we can secure the future for all.
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