The First Woman Being Director-General Believes It is Too Early to Talk about Winning the Fight for Gender Equality

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15 years ago, Irina Bokova participated in the Beijing Conference on women's rights. Today she is the first woman to be Director-General of UNESCO. However in her message on the occasion of International Women's Day, Irina Bokova said it is too early to talk about winning the fight for gender equality.

Director-General of UNESCO reminded that this year marks the 15th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing. Its participants developed the most progressive and comprehensive to this day policy document on women's rights. Nevertheless, many of its provisions still remain unimplemented.

“Three fifths of a billion of the world's poorest people are girls and women. Girls still account for more than half of the world’s out of school children. Women account for two-thirds of the 960 million adults who cannot read. Women are underrepresented in political decision-making bodies,” said Irina Bokova.

She encouraged to use all opportunities to attract attention to gender equality at highest level. “Fifteen years ago I participated in the Beijing Conference. Being the first woman elected to the post of Director-General of UNESCO, I am deeply committed to advancing the rights of girls and women in education, science, culture, communication and information,” said Irina Bokova.

She emphasized that all forms of gender discrimination is a violation of human rights and a serious obstacle to achieving peace and sustainable development.