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Gender equality eight decades away: UN

Mexico City: Gender equality is a goal that will take another 80 years to achieve and the youth are the driving force behind the change, a United Nations official has said.

Ana Guezmes Garcia, UN Women’s representative in Mexico, a UN agency for women’s affairs, was speaking at a campaign “HeForShe”, which aims to give men a larger role in the struggle for gender equality on Wednesday, Xinhua reported.

Despite progress in securing more rights for women, “equality in practice has not been achieved,” said Guezmes when addressing at least 500 students and professors at the capital’s private Iberoamerican University, the first institute of higher learning in Mexico and the second in Latin America to officially join the campaign.

“UN Women is concerned about educational segregation” for Mexico, said Guezmes. “We want there to be more women scientists and more male nurses or caretakers. We have to work more on that and break the stereotypes,” she said.

“We are wasting enormous talent and an enormous opportunity,” said Guezmes, considering few women serve in Mexico’s public sector, and few men participate in domestic work, despite reforms in the labour law.

The employment outlook for youth in Mexico is bleak and the disparity between women and men is one of the largest in Latin America, with 42 percent of employment rate for women and 76 percent for men, she said.

The “HeforShe” campaign is a solidarity movement to promote gender equality by bringing “one half of humanity in support of the other half of humanity, for the benefit of all”, said the official website of the organisation.