Guterres: "Let us stand with women and girls fighting for their rights"
11 July 2023
World Population Day message of the UN Secretary-General António Guterres
In a powerful message delivered on World Population Day, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterreshighlighted the pressing need to prioritize gender equality and address the alarming lack of progress in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Secretary-General Guterres emphasized that although the world's human family has grown larger than ever before, leaders are failing to keep pace in their efforts to create a peaceful and prosperous world for all. As the deadline for the SDGs approaches, the progress towards these goals is dangerously off track, with gender equality projected to be achieved almost 300 years from now. Additionally, advancements in maternal health and access to family planning have been frustratingly slow.
Under the theme of this year's World Population Day, Secretary-General Guterres called for the unleashing of the power of gender equality. He highlighted that gender-based discrimination affects not only women and girls but also men and boys, impeding the progress and development of entire communities and nations. The Secretary-General emphasized that investing in women's rights and opportunities benefits everyone, uplifting people, communities, and countries as a whole.
Furthermore, Secretary-General Guterres stressed that gender equality, improved maternal health, and empowering women to make their own reproductive choices are not only crucial in and of themselves but also central to achieving all the SDGs. He called upon individuals and nations to stand with women and girls in their fight for their rights, while intensifying efforts to transform the Sustainable Development Goals into a reality for the entire global population of 8 billion people.