“Derek Chauvin’s Guilty Verdict Is A ‘Step Forward’ For Justice In America”, Joe Biden Says

The US President has welcomed a Minneapolis jury’s guilty verdict for Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd.


The former police officer was found guilty on all three charges and now faces up to 40 years behind bars.

Joe Biden said in a speech to the nation the trial has been tough for the Floyd family as well as black people all across the country.


The leader said the case unveiled the ‘the pain [and] the exhaustion that black Americans experience every single day’ and it also ‘ripped the blinders off for the whole world to see the systemic racism’.


Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Biden said: “Let’s also be clear, such a verdict is also much too rare.

“For so many people, it seems like it took a unique and extraordinary convergence of factors, a brave young woman with a smartphone camera, a crowd that was traumatised, traumatised witnesses, a murder that lasts almost 10 minutes in broad daylight for ultimately the whole world to see.

“Officers standing up and testifying against a fellow officer instead of just closing ranks, which should be commended.

“A jury who heard the evidence, carried out their civic duty in the midst of an extraordinary moment, under extraordinary pressure.

“For so many, it feels like it took all of that for the judicial system to deliver just basic accountability.

“No-one should be above the law and today’s verdict sends that message but it’s not enough. We can’t stop here.”

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Vice President Kamala Harris echoed those sentiments and hopes the verdict will set a precedent for the future.

“It is not just a black America problem or a people of colour problem. It is a problem for every American,” she said.

“It is keeping us from fulfilling the promise of liberty and justice for all. It is holding our nation back from realising our full potential.

“We are all a part of George Floyd’s legacy and our job now is to honour it and to honour him.”

Chauvin had his bail revoked and has been remanded in custody until his sentencing hearing in eight weeks, which will determine how long he will stay behind bars.

The maximum sentence for second-degree unintentional murder is ‘imprisonment of not more than 40 years’, while the maximum sentence for third-degree murder is ‘imprisonment of not more than 25 years’.

The maximum sentence for second-degree manslaughter, meanwhile, is 10 years and/or $20,000 (£14,000).The murder case against Chauvin drew to a close at Hennepin County Court this afternoon after going to jury.

Credit: PA

(Visited 7 times, 7 visits today)


Subscribe to our Youtube Channel :

Follow Us on Instagram Source

Global Austerity Alert: Looming Budget Cuts in 2021-25 and Alternatives

Aid, Civil Society, Development & Aid, Economy & Trade, Financial Crisis, Global, Headlines, Health, Humanitarian Emergencies, Inequity, TerraViva United Nations

Opinion

Map of countries with projected austerity cuts in 2021-2022, in terms of GDP, based on IMF fiscal projections. Credit: I. Ortiz and M. Cummins, 2021

NEW YORK and NAIROBI, Apr 15 2021 (IPS) – Last week Ministers of Finance met virtually at the Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank to discuss policies to tackle the pandemic and socio-economic recovery.


But a global study just published by the Initiative for Policy Dialogue at Columbia University, international trade unions and civil society organizations, sounds an alert of an emerging austerity shock: Most governments are imposing budget cuts, precisely at a time when their citizens and economies are in greater need of public support.

Analysis of IMF fiscal projections shows that budget cuts are expected in 154 countries this year, and as many as 159 countries in 2022. This means that 6.6 billion people or 85% of the global population will be living under austerity conditions by next year, a trend likely to continue at least until 2025.

The high levels of expenditures needed to cope with the pandemic have left governments with growing fiscal deficit and debt. However, rather than exploring financing options to provide direly-needed support for socio-economic recovery, governments—advised by the IMF, the G20 and others—are opting for austerity.

The post-pandemic fiscal shock appears to be far more intense than the one that followed the global financial and economic crisis a decade ago. The average expenditure contraction in 2021 is estimated at 3.3% of GDP, which is nearly double the size of the previous crisis. More than 40 governments are forecasted to spend less than the (already low) pre-pandemic levels, with budgets 12% smaller on average in 2021-22 than those in 2018-19 before COVID-19, including countries with high developmental needs like Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Kiribati, Liberia, Libya, Republic of Congo, South Sudan, Yemen, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The dangers of early and overly aggressive austerity are clear from the past decade of adjustment. From 2010 to 2019, billions of people were affected by reduced pensions and social security benefits; by lower subsidies, including for food, agricultural inputs and fuel; by wage bill cuts and caps, which hampered the delivery of public services like education, health, social work, water and public transport; by the rationalization and narrow-targeting of social protection programs so that only the poorest populations received smaller and smaller benefits, while most people were excluded; and by less employment security for workers, as labor regulations were dismantled. Many governments also introduced regressive taxes, like consumption taxes, which further lowered disposable household income. In many countries, public services were downsized or privatized, including health. Austerity proved to be a deadly policy. The weak state of public health systems—overburdened, underfunded and understaffed from a decade of austerity—aggravated health inequalities and made populations more vulnerable to COVID-19.

Today, it is imperative to watch out for austerity measures with negative social outcomes. After COVID-19’s devastating impacts, austerity will only cause more unnecessary suffering and hardship.

Austerity is bad policy. There are, in fact, alternatives even in the poorest countries. Instead of slashing spending, governments can and must explore financing options to increase public budgets.

First, governments can increase tax revenues on wealth, property, and corporate income, including on the financial sector that remains generally untaxed. For example, Bolivia, Mongolia and Zambia are financing universal pensions, child benefits and other schemes from mining and gas taxes; Brazil introduced a tax on financial transactions to expand social protection coverage.

Second, more than sixty governments have successfully restructured/reduced their debt obligations to free up resources for development. Third, addressing illicit financial flows such as tax evasion and money laundering is a huge opportunity to generate revenue. Fourth, governments can simply decide to reprioritize their spending, away from low social impact investments areas like defense and bank/corporate bailouts; for example, Costa Rica and Thailand redirected military expenditures to public health.

Fifth, another financing option is to use accumulated fiscal and foreign reserves in Central Banks. Sixth, attract greater transfers/development assistance or concessional loans. A seventh option is to adopt more accommodative macroeconomic frameworks. And eighth, governments can formalize workers in the informal economy with good contracts and wages, which increases the contribution pool and expands social protection coverage.

Expenditure and financing decisions that affect the lives of millions of people cannot be taken behind closed doors at the Ministry of Finance. All options should be carefully examined in an inclusive national social dialogue with representatives from trade unions, employers, civil society organizations and other relevant stakeholders.

#EndAusterity is a global campaign to stop austerity measures that have negative social impacts. Since 2020, more than 500 organizations and academics from 87 countries have called on the IMF and Ministries of Finance to immediately stop austerity, and instead prioritize policies that advance gender justice, reduce inequality, and put people and planet first.

Isabel Ortiz is Director of the Global Social Justice Program at Joseph Stiglitz’s Initiative for Policy Dialogue at Columbia University, former Director at the International Labour Organization (ILO) and UNICEF
Matthew Cummins is senior economist who has worked at UNDP, UNICEF and the World Bank.

  Source

Studying Marine Life’s Brief Break from Human Noise

Biodiversity, Civil Society, Economy & Trade, Editors’ Choice, Environment, Featured, Global, Global Governance, Green Economy, Headlines, IPS UN: Inside the Glasshouse, TerraViva United Nations

Opinion

Hydrophone launch. Credit: The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO)

NEW YORK, Apr 15 2021 (IPS) – Travel and economic slowdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic have combined to brake shipping, seafloor exploration, and many other human activities in the ocean, creating a unique moment to begin a time-series study of the impacts of sound on marine life.


Our community of scientists has identified more than 200 non-military ocean hydrophones worldwide and hopes to make the most of the unprecedented opportunity to pool their recorded data into the 2020 quiet ocean assessment and to help monitor the ocean soundscape long into the future.

Our aim is a network of 500 hydrophones capturing the signals of whales and other marine life while assessing the racket levels of human activity. Combined with other sea life monitoring methods such as animal tagging, the work will help reveal the extent to which noise in “the Anthropocene seas” impacts ocean species, which depend on sound and natural sonar to mate, navigate and feed across the ocean.

Sound travels far in the ocean and a hydrophone can pick up low frequency signals from hundreds, even thousands of kilometres away.

Assessing the risks of underwater sound for marine life requires understanding what sound levels cause harmful effects and where in the ocean vulnerable animals may be exposed to sound exceeding these levels.

In 2011, experts began developing the International Quiet Ocean Experiment (IQOE), launched in 2015 with the International Quiet Ocean Experiment Science Plan. Among our goals: to create a time series of measurements of ambient sound in many ocean locations to reveal variability and changes in intensity and other properties of sound at a range of frequencies.

The plan also included designating 2022 “the Year of the Quiet Ocean.” Due to COVID-19, however, the oceans are unlikely to be as quiet as they were in April, 2020 for many decades to come.

COVID-19 reduced sound levels more than we dreamed possible. IQOE, therefore, is focusing project resources to encourage study of changes in sound levels and effects on organisms that occurred in 2020, based on observations from hundreds of hydrophones worldwide in 2019-2021.

Of the 231 non-military hydrophones identified to February 2021, the highest concentrations are found along the North American coasts — Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic — Hawaii, Europe, and Antarctica, with some scattered through the Asia-Pacific region.

Several have agreed to their geographic coordinates and other metadata being shown on the IQOE website (https://www.iqoe.org/systems).

Sparse, sporadic deployment of hydrophones and obstacles to integrating measurements have narrowly limited what we confidently know.

We are therefore creating a global data repository with contributors using standardized methods, tools and depths to measure and document ocean soundscapes and effects on the distribution and behavior of vocalizing animals.

New software, MANTA (at https://bit.ly/3cVNUox), developed by researchers across the USA and led by the University of New Hampshire, will help standardize ocean sound recording data from collaborators, facilitating its comparability, pooling and visualization.

As well, an Open Portal to Underwater Sound (OPUS), is being tested at Alfred Wegener Institute in Bremerhaven, Germany to promote the use of acoustic data collected worldwide, providing easy access to MANTA-processed data. The aggregated data will permit soundscape maps of entire oceans.

Meanwhile, scientists over the past decade have developed powerful methods to estimate the distribution and abundance of vocalizing animals using passive acoustic monitoring.

The fledgling hydrophone network contributes to the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS), a network of observing assets monitoring currents, temperature, sea level, chemical pollution, litter, and other concerns worldwide.

Precious chance

Seldom has there been such a chance to collect quiet ocean data in the Anthropocene Seas. COVID-19 drastically decreased shipping, tourism and recreation, fishing and aquaculture, naval and coast guard exercises, offshore construction, port and channel dredging, and energy exploration and extraction. The concurrent price war that caused oil prices to dive to zero further quieted maritime energy activities.

The last comparable opportunity followed the terrorist attacks on the United States in September 2001, which disrupted not just air travel; they also led to a shipping slowdown and ocean noise reduction, prompting biologists to study stress hormone levels in endangered North Atlantic right whales in the Bay of Fundy.

With their 2001 data, research revealed higher September stress hormone levels over the next four years as the whales prepared to migrate to warmer southern waters where they calve, suggesting that the industrialized ocean causes chronic stress of animals.

We are on the way to timely, reliable, easily understood maps of ocean soundscapes, including the exceptional period of April 2020 when the COVID virus gave marine animals a brief break from human clatter.

Let’s learn from the COVID pause to help achieve safer operations for shipping industries, offshore energy operators, navies, and other users of the ocean.

Additional information about MANTA is available at https://bitbucket.org/CLO-BRP/manta-wiki/wiki/Home, and about the IQOE at https://bit.ly/3sDTkd

We invite parties in a position to help to join us in this global effort to assess the variability and trends of ocean sound and the effects of sound on marine life.

*Jesse Ausubel is the IQOE project originator and Director of the Program for the Human Environment at The Rockefeller University, New York City; Edward R. Urban Jr of the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research is the IQOE Project Manager

  Source

Forest supervisor balances population, budget and environmental concerns

James Melonas thinks the state’s national forests are a reflection of the communities across North Carolina.

“The challenges we face in the national forest are societal. These aren’t just Forest Service issues. They are issues facing all of our communities and everyone living in North Carolina,” said Melonas, the new forest supervisor for the state’s four national forests.

The U.S. Forest Service selected the 44-year-old Melonas last fall to replace retiring supervisor Allen Nicholas.

As supervisor, he manages a $24 million budget, 213 employees across the state and the protection of more than 1.2 million acres of forestland. 

Melonas’ arrival at the state headquarters in Asheville is at a pivotal moment for North Carolina’s two largest national forests: Pisgah and Nantahala. Later this year, Melonas will finalize the land management plan that will guide the future of 1 million acres of federal forest in the mountains.

He’ll also oversee the coastal Croatan National Forest and central Uwharrie National Forest.

Setting priorities

In an interview with Carolina Public Press, Melonas said he will focus on building relationships with users and address development pressure, recreational demands, forest restoration and the impact of climate change.

Strains from a growing population and the bulging volume of forest users are among his biggest concerns. In 2020, over 7 million people visited the state’s national forests, making them among the most popular in the nation.

Before taking the helm in North Carolina, Melonas was the deputy supervisor in North Carolina before his promotion in 2017 to forest supervisor of Santa Fe National Forest in New Mexico.

He led the work on 1.6 million acres of public land that experienced extreme drought conditions during his tenure. 

Although New Mexico and North Carolina have vastly different landscapes, national forests nationwide face similar issues, including tighter budgets, less personnel and the existential threat of climate change.

“I think of climate change as a stressor on everything we do,” Melonas said. “We have such a large portfolio and have always been limited in what we would like to do and what we have the capacity to do.”

His strategy is “being intentional about how we set priorities, not just internally, but that they are shared priorities,” he said.

Before serving in New Mexico, Melonas worked closely with national forest stakeholders in the early stages of the Nantahala-Pisgah forest planning process, which began in 2012.

According to Lang Hornthal of EcoForesters, an Asheville-based nonprofit organization, Melonas had a significant impact on the plan.

“Anyone that has worked with James before would want to work with him again,” said Hornthal, who is a member of the leadership team of the Nantahala-Pisgah Forest Partnership, a collaborative group of public and private organizations that formed to support the development of the plan.

“From my seat at the table, he appreciates the enormous amount of work that was put into this process by our members and what it means that we have stuck together.”

Melonas said his appreciation of communities that rely on public lands was formed as a Peace Corps volunteer in Malawi, a small landlocked nation in southeastern Africa, where he worked at a national park. 

His focus as a volunteer was on communities that bordered the park. Among the issues were herds of hippos and elephants damaging cropland.

The takeaway from the experience, he said, is the deep connection of people to the land.

“It looks different, obviously, in different places, but that’s the common denominator. The interplay between the people and the land is inextricable.”

In New Mexico, Melonas formed close relationships with Native American tribes and pueblos living near Santa Fe National Forest. 

He intends to do the same in North Carolina and strengthen connections with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and other tribes that have cultural sites within national forest boundaries.

He is also encouraging more engagement with communities left out of the development of forest service projects, such as Black Americans who live near public lands throughout the state.

“We need to get ownership in a local community so [future] projects are seen as community projects,” he said. “We can be more thoughtful when we are designing projects and engaging those communities.”

Forest plans

Among his priorities as supervisor is finalizing the Proposed Forest Plan and Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests, which was released in February 2020. 

A final management plan will be signed by Melonas later this year.

“I’m feeling really good about where we are. Even though it’s been a long process and challenging, everyone agrees that the partnerships and relationships we’ve formed over this time have been really important,” he said.

Nevertheless, he’s pragmatic about what the plan can accomplish on its own.

“If we had a hundred years, we could keep refining some of these things [in the plan]. Ultimately, we have to be realistic of what we can ask of the plan,” he said. “There are just things that are too complex, either ecologically or socially, for the plan to address. There is just no one answer.” 

Instead, the management plan will create a framework to foster a more productive conversation about issues in the forest, particularly in areas where groups and individuals tend to disagree, such as land protection or timber harvesting.

Melonas will also oversee issues facing the state’s two smaller national forests: Croatan and Uwharrie.

Currently, he said, the Forest Service is still coordinating rebuilding the areas of Croatan National Forest that suffered an estimated $17 million in damage from Hurricane Florence in 2018. 

Much of the harm was to roads, which were impassable due to fallen trees and culverts blown out by rushing water. 

“As we look at recovery, we’re mindful of the fact we’re going to experience more intense storms in the forest,” he said.

In both forests, he’ll oversee widespread restoration projects to replace loblolly pine with native plant communities, such as longleaf pine habitat, to restore forestland that is more resilient to climate change.

And statewide, a central task is balancing the needs of more users in a rapidly developing state where increasing demand is putting pressure on recreational resources.

“One of the things that hit me coming back to North Carolina was the amount of development that occurred in the last four years,” he said. 

His job, as he sees it, is to rise to that challenge and anticipate future issues around sustainable recreation, development and climate change.

“Everyone in North Carolina benefits from public lands and forests,” he said. 

Source

Women, we are doing fine; one woman at a time!

16But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth. — Exodus 9:16

If you want something to be said, tell a man; if you want something to be done, tell a woman, Dame Margaret Thatcher, first and former British Prime Minister.

This week, two statements lead me to unpack hyperboles to drive home the need for some opinionates to fall back on the stereotyping of women as well as the under-appreciation of their achievements.

In the just finished celebration of Women’s Month, among the numerous global events that took place are Tanzania lost a president and a woman ascended to the position, and two Malawian women (former president Joyce Banda and United Kingdom-based research scientist Dr. Alice Mbewe) received the Future Focus Female Icon 2021 awards.

While Tanzania’s elevation of President Samia Suluhu Hassan brought much joy around the world, a media outlet thought it wise to point out that although Suluhu Hassan had risen to the post of first citizen, she still humbles herself and bows to her husband.

The second onslaught to women came from a colleague who, upon reading the banner announcing  Banda and Mbewe’s award nominations, asked what have they achieved? The banner only had the titles.

Turning to the issue of the submissive Tanzanian female president and the lack of it in Malawi, my response is that it is total lies from the pit of a wounded male spouse! For starters, Malawi had its first female president Banda (fondly referred to as JB) and there are countless others that humble themselves to their husbands. There is retired Chief Justice Anastasia Msosa, former Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah and others that are the opposite of the picture painted in the media post.

By the way, submission is not meant for show to outsiders but within one’s home. How did they see Suluhu Hassan bowing to her husband?

Every time one mentions the name JB, a myriad of images flow through the mind, among them that in her first year of office in 2012, she met the crème de la crème of global leaders like Queen Elizabeth II, the first United States of America African-American President Barack Obama and 1991 Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Myanmar President Aung San Suu Kyi. During the same year, Banda, unlike her predecessor, whizzed through Africa and rounded up support in cash and kind that included cows from Botswana. To date, JB has received 50 international awards.

As for Mbewe, although a little less known, her work in the medical field in the UK is laudable. Both spoke exuberantly with vivaciousness and great conviction in the work they have chosen to exert their energies.

In accepting her award, JB paused to congratulate and celebrate President Suluhu Hassan. She then turned to the pandemic, citing that there are 39 million out of school children in Africa and that sadly due to the Covid-19 pandemic, nine million children had dropped out of school. Without mincing words, the former Malawi leader informed participants in the hour-long virtual meeting that one percent of the world’s rich people have become richer because of the pandemic, adding the West has a moral obligation to own the recovery of the pandemic.

JB paid tribute to women, adding that she has spent her entire adult life trying to uplift women in various areas. She also provided tips for young women to succeed.

On her part, Mbewe encouraged young female leaders to understand their life purpose, saying doing so enables one to navigate through and have a meaningful life.

Other awardees were Trinidad and Tobago President Paula-May Weeks, Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley and former UN Women president minister Penelope Beckles.

The Global Female Icon Awards 2021 was hosted by Crystal Camejo, Future Focus Empowerment Institute International’s founder.

Avatar

Source

Generation Equality: Women’s Leadership as a Catalyst for Change, Say 49 UN Women Envoys

Civil Society, Featured, Gender, Gender Violence, Global, Headlines, Human Rights, Poverty & SDGs, Sustainability, TerraViva United Nations

Opinion

This article has been co-authored and signed by 49 UN women Ambassadors*

UN Women announces the theme for International Women’s Day, 8 March 2021 (IWD 2021) as, “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world. Credit: UN Women/Yihui Yuan

UNITED NATIONS, Apr 1 2021 (IPS) – March, women’s history month, closes with the Generation Equality Forum in Mexico and against the background of significant setbacks on the empowerment of women caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.


From our seats in the General Assembly and our screens at home we have seen it growing: the increase in deaths; gender-based, including intimate partner, violence; abuse of women and girls who speak out; the widening of the gender gap for access to digital technologies; the loss of jobs, the decrease of women’s participation in public life and decision-making; disrupted access to essential health care; increase in child marriage; and the diminished access to education.

Day by day in this yearlong battle against the pandemic we have seen how women are impacted twice: first by the virus, and then by its devastating secondary effects.

We are 49 women ambassadors representing countries from all regions of the world, and we believe that such a reality is simply intolerable. Here, we tell that story and what needs to be done to urgently recover the hard-won gains of recent years.

The COVID-19 crisis has a woman’s face.

The face of women nurses, doctors, scientists, care-givers, sanitation workers, and of those leading the response to the pandemic. Women are on the front line: As leaders delivering effectively with vision and care.

But also, as victims of structural vulnerabilities and of violence and abuse.

The “shadow pandemic” of exploitation and abuse, including domestic and intimate partner violence, should be a jarring wake-up call to us all. The latest WHO data show that 1 in 3 women experience intimate partner violence during their lifetime, while the UN reports that women with disabilities have four times the risk of experiencing sexual violence in comparison to women without disabilities.

Women will also bear the heaviest toll of the socio-economic impact of the pandemic because they often carry the responsibility for unpaid dependent care and are over-represented in jobs most affected by the crisis – hospitality, tourism, health, and trade.

The lack of women’s participation in society threatens to delay the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. Politically-motivated gender-based violence online and offline is a barrier to women’s ability to participate fully and equally in democratic processes.

Moreover, the persistently high rate of grave violations of women’s rights worldwide is appalling.

Against this background, this March, the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) focused on two issues: fighting gender-based violence, and scaling up women’s full and effective participation at all levels and in all sectors.

“Gender equality: From the Biarritz Partnership to the Beijing+25 Generation Equality* Forum”, hosted by France and Mexico ahead of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly, 2019. Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown

Meaningful participation of women in politics, institutions and public life is the catalyst for that transformational change, which benefits society as a whole. Only four countries in the world have a parliament that is at least 50% women.

Worldwide only 25% of all parliamentarians are women. Women serve as heads of state or government in only 22 countries today, and 119 countries have never had a woman leader.

According to UNESCO, 30% of the world’s researchers are women. While 70% of the health and social care workforce are women, they make up only 25% of leaders in the global health sector.

Current projections show that if we continue at the current rate, gender equality in the highest positions of power will not be reached for another 130 years. These figures speak of unacceptable barriers and bottlenecks that continue to block women’s participation.

As the Secretary-General of the UN says, parity is ultimately a question of power. As women, we are often reluctant to use this word. But as women ambassadors at the UN, representing countries from around the world, it is a word we cannot and will not be too shy to use.

Power is not an end in itself: it is the power to change things, to act and have equal opportunities to compete. While as women Ambassadors we are still under-represented here in New York – only 25% of Permanent Representatives are women – we are committed to being a driving force to shift mindsets. We are long past the point where women should have to justify their seat at the table.

A large body of research and scientific literature provide unequivocal evidence of the value of integrating women’s perspectives in decision-making. Countries led by women are dealing with the pandemic more effectively than many others.

Peace processes and peace agreements mediated with the active participation of women are more durable and comprehensive. Yet women make up only 13% of negotiators, 6% of mediators and 6% of signatories in formal peace processes.

When women have equal opportunities in the labor force, economies can unlock trillions of dollars. Yet last year, the International Labor Organization found that women were 26% less likely to be employed than men. In 2020 only 7.4% of Fortune 500 companies were run by women.

Worldwide, women only make 77 cents for every dollar earned by men, while the gender gap in internet access grew from 11% in 2013 to 17% in 2019, reaching 43% in the least developed countries.

The so-called “motherhood penalty” pushes women into the informal economy, casual and part-time work. After slow but steady gains over the last few decades, COVID-19 has forced millions of women out of the formal labor market.

The solution to this will not occur spontaneously nor by magic. We need positive action. We need data disaggregated by sex and age so we can better analyze the scope of the problem; we need targeted policies and earmarked investments.

We have to strengthen support services for survivors of abuse, as well as prevent violence and end impunity. And we need to reduce the digital divide and promote access for women to information and public life.

We must rebalance the composition of decision-making bodies. We need to integrate gender into the design and implementation of recovery plans. We need to ensure the availability, accessibility, quality, and continuity of health services for women, including sexual and reproductive health services.

Social protection programmes should be gender responsive and account for the differential needs of women and girls. We need to promote access for women to decent work and overcome the choice between family and work that is too often imposed on women. Women should have targeted support for entrepreneurship and investment in education that guarantees equal access.

This should not only start with women, but with girls. Getting more girls into school, including back into school following the pandemic, improving the quality of education girls receive, and ensuring all girls get quality education: this will enable female empowerment and gender equality, which will be critical for the effective participation of future generations of women. We must make justice accessible to all women and end impunity for sexual violence.

This will also require role models. As women ambassadors, we bear testament to young generations of girls and women across the world showing that, like us, they can make it. No career and no goal are off-limits for them, as they are in all their diversities, nor beyond their capacities.

Parity is not a zero-sum game but a common cause and a pragmatic imperative. Men can be and are our allies in achieving parity. We look forward to continuing momentum on accelerating progress on achieving gender equality through the Generation Equality Forum and its Action Coalitions. Let us together set the stage for an inclusive, equal, global recovery. Let us make this generation “Generation Equality”.

There’s no more time to lose. We’ve lost enough to COVID already.

*List of participating Ambassadors, (including one Chargé d’affaires, a.i.) who co-authored this article (and the day they took office)

AFGHANISTAN H.E. Mrs. Adela Raz (8 March 2019); ALBANIA H.E. Ms. Besiana Kadare (30 June 2016); ANDORRA H.E. Mrs. Elisenda Vives Balmaña (3 November 2015); ANGOLA H.E. Ms. Maria de Jesus dos Reis Ferreira (21 May 2018); ARGENTINA H.E. Ms. María del Carmen Squeff (31 August 2020); BANGLADESH H.E. Ms. Rabab Fatima (6 December 2019); BARBADOS H.E. Ms. H. Elizabeth Thompson (30 August 2018); BHUTAN H.E. Ms. Doma Tshering (13 September 2017); BRUNEI DARUSSALAM H.E. Ms. Noor Qamar Sulaiman (18 February 2019); BULGARIA H.E. Ms. Lachezara Stoeva (17 February 2021); CHAD H.E. Ms. Ammo Aziza Baroud (11 December 2020); CZECH REPUBLIC H.E. Mrs. Marie Chatardová (2 August 2016); DOMINICA H.E. Ms. Loreen Ruth Bannis-Roberts (22 August 2016); EL SALVADOR H.E. Mrs. Egriselda Aracely González López (21 August 2019); ERITREA H.E. Ms. Sophia Tesfamariam (5 September 2019); GREECE H.E. Ms. Maria Theofili (13 September 2017) ; GRENADA H.E. Ms. Keisha A. McGuire (12 April 2016); GUYANA H.E. Mrs. Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett (2 October 2020); HUNGARY H.E. Ms. Zsuzsanna Horváth (16 February 2021); IRELAND H.E. Ms. Geraldine Byrne Nason (18 August 2017); ITALY H.E. Ms. Mariangela Zappia (13 August 2018); JORDAN H.E. Ms. Sima Sami Bahous (22 August 2016); KYRGYZSTAN H.E. Ms. Mirgul Moldoisaeva (12 April 2016); LEBANON H.E. Ms. Amal Mudallali (15 January 2018); LITHUANIA H.E. Ms. Audra Plepytė (18 August 2017); MADAGASCAR Ms. Vero Henintsoa Andriamiarisoa (Chargé d’affaires, a.i.); MALDIVES H.E. Ms. Thilmeeza Hussain (21 May 2019); MALTA H.E. Mrs. Vanessa Frazier (6 January 2020) ; MARSHALL ISLANDS H.E. Ms. Amatlain Elizabeth Kabua (5 July 2016); MICRONESIA H.E. Mrs. Jane J. Chigiyal (2 December 2011); MONACO H.E. Ms. Isabelle F. Picco (11 September 2009); MONTENEGRO H.E. Mrs. Milica Pejanović Đurišić (21 May 2018); NAURU H.E. Ms. Margo Reminisse Deiye (27 November 2020); NETHERLANDS H.E. Ms. Yoka Brandt (2 September 2020); NORWAY H.E. Ms. Mona Juul (14 January 2019); PANAMA H.E. Ms. Markova Concepción Jaramillo (16 November 2020); POLAND H.E. Ms. Joanna Wronecka (19 December 2017); QATAR H.E. Sheikha Alya Ahmed Saif Al-Thani (24 October 2013) ;RWANDA H.E. Mrs. Valentine Rugwabiza (11 November 2016); SAINT VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES H.E. Ms. Inga Rhonda King (13 September 2013); SLOVENIA H.E. Ms. Darja Bavdaž Kuret (18 August 2017); SOUTH AFRICA H.E. Ms. Mathu Theda Joyini (22 January 2021); SURINAME H.E. Ms. Kitty Monique Sweeb (19 June 2019) ; SWEDEN H.E. Ms. Anna Karin Eneström (6 January 2020) ; SWITZERLAND H.E. Mrs. Pascale Baeriswyl (26 June 2020); TURKMENISTAN H.E. Mrs. Aksoltan. Ataeva (23 February 1995); UNITED ARAB EMIRATES H.E. Mrs. Lana Zaki Nusseibeh (18 September 2013); UNITED KINGDOM H.E. Dame Barbara Woodward (2 December 2020); UNITED STATES OF AMERICA H.E. Ms. Linda Thomas-Greenfield (25 February 2021)

  Source