UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) -- Women heads of state and government have gathered here to stress the importance of women's full and effective participation and decision-making in addressing global issues.
The newly established UNGA Platform of Women Leaders held an event on the sidelines of the General Debate of the 77th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) to make the case for having more women in government.
"Women's leadership is transformative. The women leaders with us today are living proof of this fact," said UNGA President Csaba Korosi.
"Inclusive governance can result in policies that create positive change over the long term. By integrating the views of diverse women -- especially at the highest levels -- governments can effectively tailor and target solutions to those most in need," said Korosi.
Of the 193 UN member states, only 28 women are elected heads of state or government.
Women comprise 21 percent of the world's ministers, 26 percent of national parliamentarians and 34 percent of elected local government seats.
A new UN report has further revealed that at the current pace of progress, equal parliamentary representation will not be achieved until 2062.
UN Women Executive Director Sima Bahous sees a vital role in the newly created leadership platform.
"When more women lead in political and public life, everyone benefits, especially in crises," she said.
"A new generation of girls see a possible future for themselves. Health, education, childcare, and violence against women, receive greater attention and better solutions. We must find every possible way to amplify the assets women leaders bring. This platform is an opportunity to do just that," she added.
The UNGA Platform of Women Leaders has its genesis in a September 2021 meeting between women heads of state and government and Abdulla Shahid, then president of the General Assembly.
Shahid underscored the importance of Tuesday's event.
"At our current rate of progress, it could take 300 years to achieve gender equality," he said. "We must act now. Accelerate investment in girls and women. Scale up efforts to empower women. Expand opportunities for girls. Eliminate gender-based violence."
According to the event's organizers, the UNGA Platform of Women Leaders will also help bring visibility to women in prominent political leadership positions.
The critical role of women's leadership in driving sustainable development is well documented, they added.
Countries with more women political leaders tend to pay greater attention to health, education, infrastructure and ending violence against women.
In response to the pandemic, women leaders championed policies that addressed its social and economic impacts on the most vulnerable groups.
Data also shows that in conflict-affected contexts, women's representation in public life brings heightened credibility to peace processes and negotiations, helping unify divided communities.
Furthermore, research has also shown that seeing more women in power increases girls' educational and career aspirations.
"It is my strong belief that the world needs more women leaders and more diverse leaders, people with all kinds of backgrounds and life experiences," said Katrin Jakobsdottir, Iceland's prime minister and chair of the Council of Women World Leaders.
"The decisions leaders make affect all people in our societies. These decisions should be made by people who have a real and deep understanding of how most people live, of what their concerns are, and are therefore responsive to their needs." ■