President Dalia Grybauskaitė

A better world can only be achieved through full participation of women

2016-09-22

Thursday, September 22, New York – President Dalia Grybauskaitė delivered a speech at the 71st United Nations General Assembly, which focuses on boosting sustainable global development. The seventeen Sustainable Development Goals came into effect this year. They are aimed at ending poverty and hunger, ensuring quality education and health care, achieving gender equality, delivering growth and tackling climate change by 2030.

In her address to the United Nations, the President underlined that the vision of a better world can only be realized with full participation of women.

“Today’s greatest challenges – from migration, terrorism, military conflicts to climate change – can only be resolved with full participation of women. It is only by providing women with an equal voice in key political and business decisions, ensuring access to quality education, and protecting them from violence and discrimination that we will secure a truly sustainable future for the world,” the President said.

Dalia Grybauskaitė also focused on the situation of women living in poverty. The trend of poverty feminization, the President said, has to change. Poverty affects both men and women, but lifting women out of poverty is much more difficult. Deep-rooted discrimination and stereotypes prevent women from making use of economic opportunities. And entire families are condemned to poverty.

According to the UN Women report, a woman finds it more difficult to get a loan to start a business; a woman earns around 24 percent less than a man. Last year in Lithuania, a woman’s average monthly wage was 84.5 percent of a man’s.

Poverty affects not only developing countries; therefore all governments should make tackling social marginalization a priority. In Europe single mothers and elderly women suffer the most from poverty, while in Lithuania more than 30 percent of women over 65 are at risk of poverty.

In her speech, the President highlighted the importance of education for global development. Education is a key that opens many doors, she said. Out of the world’s 750 million illiterate adults, two thirds are women. Terrorist organizations like ISIS and Boko Haram burn down schools and kill teachers to prevent women from making their own life choices. The President called on world leaders to ensure the security of women and girls, and to provide men and women with equal access to free quality education.

Lithuania is strongly committed to delivering the Sustainable Development Goals. It contributes to international support for the world’s poorest countries and implements projects in development cooperation aimed at helping to build a secure and democratic neighborhood for Lithuania and also to uphold women’s rights in our region. Last year, Lithuania’s support to global development exceeded 43 million euros.

Press Service of the President

Last updated 2016.09.22 17:25

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