It’s Not Just You, the UN Has Said 2023 Will Be a Tough One for Women

“Everywhere, crises continue to exact their highest toll on women and girls,” stated Sima Bahous, UN Women’s Executive Director. This declaration was a part of her opening statement for the UN Women’s First Regular Session of 2023.

“In fact, 2023 looks set to be one of the most challenging since UN Women’s establishment. COVID, and its longer-term impacts, are not behind us.” 

The UN Women’s Regular Sessions are a series of meetings where this human rights organisation updates the general public about what they are up to. Because this sesh was the first one of 2023, Bahous used her speech to list the people and issues her team wants to back over the next 12 months.  

Bahous then went on to say, “The food and energy crisis fueled by the war in Ukraine continues to impact those furthest left behind the most and threaten global security and sustainable development. Climate change, and in particular climate-driven disasters, still demand a gender lens in adapting and mitigating impacts. “

What followed was a discussion about a group of folks that have largely been forgotten over the past year: The women and girls of Afghanistan.  

In 2021, the Taliban took control of Afghanistan. What followed was a brutal crushing of women’s autonomy. This regime has banned women from being educated, prevented them from getting help from male doctors, and forced many of them into being beggars on the street. 

When discussing the situation in Afghanistan, Bahous said, “At a time when their voices are increasingly being silenced, we will continue to raise them in every platform we can, and to use our convening privilege to safeguard space for Afghan women’s voices to be heard. We have demonstrated this commitment-in-action through the establishment of the Afghan Women’s Advisory Group.”

However, the dream of improving the lives of women and girls isn’t a hopeless one. Bahous stated that things can get better, even in developing countries.

“In Tanzania, I saw young women leading on critical challenges such as HIV and AIDS,” said Bahous. “Reminding us again of their crucial role as the face of the future, and the present, across the continent and beyond.”

Moreover, for every issue here, UN Women has a plan. This organisation, and many others, work day after day to make life better for women and girls around the planet. There are support networks that exists, so things can improve for the people that need a hand the most.

“We start 2023 as a stronger organisation than ever before. I believe we will end it stronger too thanks to our shared energy.”

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