A blog by Soroptimist International President, Yvonne Simpson
“The Opening of CSW61 was held in the General Assembly Hall at the United Nations, New York, today 13 March 2017. United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, addressed the Member States for the first time after taking office on 1st January 2017.
Secretary-General António Guterres, opened his address with a vote of thanks to everyone for coming, particularly to the large numbers of civil society in attendance, saying: “we need you more than ever before”.
Secretary-General Guterres reinforced the importance of gender equality; his commitment to women’s rights being human rights, and the role played by the United Nations. He said: “Gender equality…relates to everything we do”.
Sharing the priority areas that need to be addressed, he spoke out against domestic violence stating that, “attacks on women are attacks on all of us.” Secretary-General Guterres spoke of the 15 million girls who are forced to marry and those who undergo female genital mutilation. He highlighted the contribution that women make to the economy and the increased contribution that could be made in the next decade.
He remarked that women invest in the health of their children and that their own health issues need to be addressed. Currently just 3% of peacekeepers are women and he called for more women leaders in the peace process. Secretary-General Guterres vowed to support the cause of gender equality in every way, to stand up for women’s empowerment, calling for more men to be involved because… ‘Equality works for the world.'”