Message of UN Philippines Resident Coordinator Gustavo Gonzalez for the WEPS 2020 Awards Ceremony

The COVID-19 pandemic presents opportunities to enhance the gender equality agenda and empower the champions for gender equality

[Watch the video message here]

This is indeed an amazing and promising night to remember! I would like to convey my sincere congratulations to the awardees!

We know now what is needed to become a champion for gender equality!

As you know, the vision of the United Nations is that food, healthcare, water, education, decent work and social security are not commodities for sale to those who can afford them, but basic human rights to which we are all entitled. 

And for that, we have to reduce inequality.

We still live in a male-dominated world, with a male-dominated culture, and have done so for millennia.

We also know that gender equality is not a simple sociological discussion, it is, fundamentally, a question of power. Centuries of discrimination have created a gender power gap in our economies, in our political systems and in our corporations.

Our commitment to promote economic justice and rights by addressing gender discrimination can transform the way we do business.

But this should not be a singular effort by a leader or a specific group within the company.

We need action on all fronts.

Working for gender equality means working for an open, inclusive and sustainable society..

The United Nations recognizes that everyone can be an ally for equality. And this evening's winners revealed to us that businesses and enterprises, no matter the size and sector, are capable partners for action.

We have seen these past years growing and vibrant movements of women all over the world, calling for urgent systemic change. They are advancing gender equality and demanding accountability from governments and other powerful actors. These movements are proposing bold new alternatives for a different world.

The COVID-19 pandemic is presenting a number of challenges, but also opportunities to enhance the gender equality agenda and empower -as we are doing this evening, the champions for gender equality.

Let us send a clear message to everyone that women’s rights are human rights, and that gender equality is central to all the Sustainable Development Goals.

I thank you and wish you a wonderful night!

Speech by
Gustavo González
Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator
Gustavo Gonzalez
UN entities involved in this initiative
UN Women
United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women