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SG/SM/17584-OBV/1584-WOM/2065
8 March 2016

Women’s Empowerment Means Society’s Advancement, Secretary-General Stresses in Video Message to Mark International Day

Following is the text of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s video message on International Women’s Day, observed today:

I have personally met thousands of heroines in countries around the world.  Women defending human rights.  Women challenging authoritarians.  Women rejecting injustice.  Again and again, I have been inspired by female leaders of countries and peacekeeping operations; women doctors and activists; mothers who sacrifice for their families; girls who champion the right to education.  All deserve full equality.

As Secretary-General of the United Nations, I live by a firm principle: for too long, leaders used women to advance their power; I believe we must use our power to advance women.  That is why I have appointed record numbers of women to the highest posts in the United Nations.  Around the world, they are proving how the best person for the job is often a woman.

We are campaigning to end violence.  We are engaging men.  And we are showing that women’s empowerment means society’s advancement.  On this International Women’s Day, we resolve to finally end discrimination.

No woman should be thrown into poverty when she becomes a widow.  No girl should suffer female genital mutilation.  Every woman and girl deserves full human rights.

When their equality is a reality, our world will have greater peace, sustainable prosperity and human rights for all.

For information media. Not an official record.