Leaders warn of setbacks at beginning of UN Equality Forum

Paris, Jun 30 (EFE).- World leaders on Wednesday warned against setbacks that threaten the advances achieved in decades, during the opening ceremony of the Generation Equality Forum held in Paris.

“There are patriarchal forces who are trying to take the power again and return to conservatism,” French president Emmanuel Macron said in his opening speech.

“These people want to challenge the gains that have been made over decades,” added Macron, whose country co-presides, alongside Mexico, over the forum that runs until Friday.

He showed support for women who are threatened for not wearing the Islamic veil or for seeking out an abortion. “Their fight is also our fight,” he said.

The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that there is “a move backward by many of the political leaders in the world who are calling into question what we have achieved over years and decades”.

 “Let’s stop violence against women and girls,” Guterres said adding that gender-based violence has worsened during the pandemic.

During a speech she delivered through videoconference, Vice President of the United States Kamala Harris said that women and girls are at risk if democracy failed.

The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, also warned about a setback in women’s rights.

She criticized that certain European countries have not ratified or withdrawn from the Istanbul Convention, one of the main international texts of action against gender-based violence. EFE


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