Paris conference aims to fast-track road to gender equality

An international conference opening in Paris on Wednesday aims to fast-track the road to gender equality and mobilize millions of dollars to achieve the long-sought goal quickly, the head of the U.N.’s premiere global body fighting to empower women says.

UN Women’s Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka said in an interview with The Associated Press that the underfunding of women’s programs and the slow implementation of a 150-platform to achieve gender equality adopted by the world’s nations in Beijing in 1995 “leaves a lot of women in a situation where they will never really realize their true and full potential.”

What the three-day Generation Equality Forum starting Wednesday is about, she said, is tackling and funding all areas where women have been “short-changed” — forced marriage, gender-based violence, leaving school, experiencing the devastating impacts of climate change, trying to crack glass ceilings, losing out on innovation and technology, and ensuring their sexual and reproductive rights and health.

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