Quantcast

UN: Gender discrimination costs Asia-Pacific economies tens of billions per year

By Agence France-Presse
Monday, August 13, 2012 11:35 EDT
google plus icon
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon speaks to the media as he visits the Foreign Ministry in Seoul. The UN chief said discrimination against women hampers progress in alleviating world poverty and costs Asia-Pacific economies tens of billions of dollars a year. (AFP Photo/Jung Yeon-Je)
 
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Email this page

Discrimination against women hampers progress in alleviating world poverty and costs Asia-Pacific economies tens of billions of dollars a year, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Monday.

“Gender discrimination blocks progress. Equality makes it possible to achieve huge breakthroughs,” Ban told an international meeting for young female leaders during a visit to his native South Korea.

Women make up a fraction of all chief executives of the world’s biggest companies, fewer than one in ten national leaders are female and fewer than one in five parliamentarians are women, he said in a speech.

“The lack of women’s representation — of women’s empowerment — affects individual women’s rights — and it holds back whole countries,” Ban said.

One recent UN study, he said, showed that limits on women’s economic participation cost the Asia-Pacific region nearly $90 billion a year in lost productivity.

Helping women was crucial to achieving the Millennium Development Goals on poverty reductionby 2015, the UN chief said.

Women did more work for less pay than men and far more girls were shut out of primary school than boys. Two-thirds of the 780 million people in the world who cannot read were women.

A woman still died every 90 seconds from complications related to pregnancy or childbirth, Ban said, adding he was heading a global movement to end these needless deaths.

“We are moving on all fronts to invest in women so they can reach their full potential, drive development and lead us to a better future,” he said.

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
AFP journalists cover wars, conflicts, politics, science, health, the environment, technology, fashion, entertainment, the offbeat, sports and a whole lot more in text, photographs, video, graphics and online.
 
 
 
 
By commenting, you agree to our terms of service
and to abide by our commenting policy.
 
Google+