Gender Equality: How to drive change — UNWomen

Bhatia applauded the efforts and progress being made by Kenya to eliminate violence against women and India’s move to put gender equality at the heart of the G20 agenda.

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Anita Bhatia

Anita Bhatia, Deputy Executive Director, UN Women has said that sharing and amplifying examples of positive practices from one country to another will drive change in gender equality results.

Bhatia made this known on Tuesday in her remarks at a UN Women discussion at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

The discussion was themed, “Securing Economic Justice for Women.”

Bhatia applauded the efforts and progress being made by Kenya to eliminate violence against women and India’s move to put gender equality at the heart of the G20 agenda.

“There is plenty of progress being made around us, they just need to be amplified.

“If those governments can do it, why not you and we need to take examples from business companies like DP World, where the chairman is a HeforShe champion, actively supporting gender equality.”

Bhatia said that it was not just the fact to see a regression in rights in places like the United States where women’s reproductive rights, foundational for all other rights were being severely challenged.

“Afghanistan is also happening under our very noses and as a global community, we find ourselves completely helpless and unable to do anything about it because we have very little leverage.

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“So we are in a position today where autocratic leaders and democratically elected autocratic leaders in some cases, find it perfectly okay to repress women’s rights and that is wrong,” she said.

She noted that it was not enough to talk at global forums, adding that talking was easy.

Bhatia said it was much harder to implement and move from an intention to action.

“There are three headline data points that I have been saying since yesterday, about the state of the world on gender equality: 286 years before we get rid of all discriminatory laws, 140 years before we have gender parity in leadership and 40 years before we have equality in Parliaments.

“There is a lot of work to be done and we can’t say the task is too difficult,” Bhatia stressed.

According to her, role modeling, naming and shaming and benchmarking are what will help drive change, along with male allyship and a really laser focus on changing attitudes and social norms.