World leaders vow to reach gender balanced world by 2030

World leaders including Turkey’s Prime Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu and Liberian President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf urge the international community to do more to reach global gender equality by 2030.

UNITED NATIONS (MARCH 06, 2015) (UNTV) – The United Nations (U.N.) General Assembly gathered on Friday (March 6), the observance of International Women’s Day, to hold a meeting to advance global gender equality.

While there has been progress since 1995, the year when the Beijing Platform for Action on women’s empowerment was adopted, world leaders said that there are persisting issues slowing down gender equality.

Turkey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told the international body that education of girls “stand out as an area we need to dedicate significant attention.”

“We strongly believe that ensuring the schooling of girls and closing the gender gap in education is the best way to empower girls and prevent them from being forced into early marriages,” Davutoglu said.

He also said that protection of women and girls in war-afflicted areas needs special attention.

“It is important to recognize the importance in protecting women and supporting them in conflict and post-conflict situations to increase the participation of women and to incorporate gender perspectives in peace and security building efforts,” he said.

He added: “I salute all women in refugee camps because of Syrian crisis and escaped of this type of violence.”

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Turkey hosts 1.7 million Syrian refugees that fled to the neighboring country since the crisis started in 2011.

While the U.N.’s aim is to achieve gender equality by 2030, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, president of Liberia, cautioned that the current pace of progress is too slow.

“It will take 81 years to achieve gender equality in the work place where we have the highest echelon remains largely male and it will take 75 years to reach remuneration between men and women for work of equal value. More than 30 years to reach gender balance in decision making,” the Nobel laureate said.

“It is not enough to make nice speeches, to hold international meetings issue communiqués and declarations. Women leader have said unequivocally it is time for equality and have issued a call to action, to achieve the planet 50/50 by 2030,” she added.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon highlighted that there are still governments with no female cabinet or parliament members and he urged those countries to do more to empower women.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action, a comprehensive global pledge to achieve equality, development and peace for women worldwide.