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Gender Equality and Earth's Future

Gender equality is not just the concern of half the world's population; it is a human right that is critical for the future of the planet. Women's rights must be fully integrated into efforts to promote sustainable development and fight climate change.

NEW YORK – Twenty years ago, the adoption by 189 governments of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action marked a turning point in the history of women's rights. This progressive blueprint remains a powerful source of inspiration in the effort to realize equal opportunities for women and girls.

But while much progress has been made in the intervening decades, much more remains to be done to ensure that women and children are guaranteed healthy lives, education, and full social inclusion. In just 42 countries do women hold more than 30% of seats in the national legislature, and girls still do not have the same educational opportunities as boys in Sub-Saharan Africa, Oceania, and western Asia.

Gender equality is not just the concern of half of the world's population; it is a human right, a concern for us all, because no society can develop – economically, politically, or socially – when half of its population is marginalized. We must leave no one behind.

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