Irina Bokova opens UNESCO Future Forum on UN Women
On 13 September 2010, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova opened the UNESCO Future Forum on the theme “UN Women: the New UN Framework for Gender Equality”, which was held at the Organization’s Headquarters in Paris.
Rachel Mayanja, Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations and UN Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women, as well as Aminata Toure, Chief, Gender, Human Rights and Culture Branch, of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) were keynote speakers at the Forum.
This Forum was organised following the creation of a new UN entity dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women to discuss future prospects for the promotion of gender equality by the UN system and by UNESCO.
In her opening address, Irina Bokova highlighted that, for UNESCO, Gender Equality is one of the two global priorities, with Africa, under the Organization’s Medium-Term Strategy running from 2008 to 2013. “Promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women within and outside UNESCO is also one of the pillars of my mandate, reflecting a strong personal commitment,” she stated.
The Director-General went on to underscore that UNESCO’s work on gender equality and the empowerment of women spans the fields of education, culture, science and communications. “The global empowerment of women will take concerted efforts by all to ensure that it figures prominently on the agenda, that progress is being made on all fronts and that no practice or custom is used as an excuse, in the name of culture, to deny women and girls their basic human rights,” argued Irina Bokova.
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