Volkan Bozkir (General Assembly President) on…

7 March 2021


Volkan Bozkir (General Assembly President) on International Women's Day 2021

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07 Mar 2021

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Video message by Volkan Bozkir, President of 75th Session of the General Assembly, on International Women's Day 2021.
Video message by Volkan Bozkir, President of 75th Session of the General Assembly, on International Women's Day 2021. Since the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action was adopted twenty-five years ago, we have made some progress in advancing women's rights, yet no Member State has achieved gender equality. In 2021, two-thirds of all illiterate adults are women, and the digital divide threatens to leave even more women behind. Labour market segregation persists, as does the gender pay gap. Women still shoulder the disproportionate burden of unpaid care, with the so-called 'second shift' now overlapping for many women who are working from home as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, the shadow pandemic of gender-based violence rages behind closed doors during lockdowns. This Decade of Action to implement the Sustainable Development Goals is our chance to course-correct. Here, in the General Assembly, I am working to mainstream gender equality, with the support of the newly-established Gender Advisory Group. I urge all Member States to mainstream gender equality through women's participation, as it is clear that women's unequal representation in decision-making processes – including COVID-19 recovery planning - has led to the specific needs of women being overlooked. For today only 25% of parliamentarians are women, yet 2.5 billion women and girls are affected by discriminatory laws. We must expand space for civil society leaders and feminist advocates in decision-making at all levels, and end violence against women in politics and public life. On this International Women's Day, I call on all Member States to guarantee women what I think of as the 'The Five Ps': 1. Personal autonomy; 2. Equal Participation in decision-making and politics; 3. Gender-responsive Policies; 4. Equal Pay and access to the labour market; 5. An end to impunity for Perpetrators of gender-based violence. It is up to each of us to uphold the rights of all women and to make Generation Equality a reality. Thank you.