UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Monday that the COVID-19 pandemic has deepened the inequality between men and women and reversed “decades of limited and fragile progress on gender equality and women’s rights.” (Aug. 31)
ANTONIO GUTERRES: The COVID-19 pandemic has, in the past six months, turned our world upside-down. Beyond the virus itself, the response has had a disproportionate and devastating social and economic impact on women and girls. COVID-19 is deepening existing inequalities, including gender inequality. Already we are seeing a reversal in decades of limited and fragile progress on gender equality and women's rights. And without a concerted response, we risk losing a generation or more of gains.
Progress loss may take years, even generations, to recover. We know from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa that when teenage girls leave school, they may never return. Today, millions of teenage girls around the world are out of school. And there are alarming reports of an increase in teenage pregnancies in some countries. Each of these issues is a crisis within a crisis.