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Amina Mohammed says Gender Economic Equality will take 170 years to Achieve | Urges Women not to Wait for Opportunities but Go for Them



Amina Mohammed. Photo Credit: Twitter – @UNWomen4Youth

United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed, has said that it will take 170 years to achieve economic equality between women and men. She also urged women not to wait for opportunities to fall on their laps.

She made this known in her message to the Youth Forum of the Commission on the Status of Women, ahead of the International Commission on the Status of Women.

She said women and girls were being forced to confront higher obstacles to opportunity than men and boys.

“Gender-based discrimination, marginalization, violence and other human rights abuses; unequal access to education, to health care; these are basic rights and also to opportunities for leadership and participation. This list goes on and on.

The barriers are so high that it would take 170 years to achieve economic equality between women and men; 170 years!

I’m sorry but I do not accept a world that says equality is not good enough for you or me or our daughters,” she said.

The deputy UN chief challenged young women not to wait for opportunities to fall on their laps but go for it as waiting would not make it happen.

“I’m not waiting. I know you’re not waiting. When I was your age I was never waiting. I was always being told to take it easy or time will come. And I was always thinking my time is now. So, our world can’t wait. Building a better world won’t happen on its own.

We live in a world that is out of balance. Eight people hold the same wealth as half of humanity. All of them are men, by the way.

Joblessness – particularly for young people – is on the rise. In many parts of the world, it is completely off the charts. And when you see data that just aggregates a figure, look behind the data to the people, the faces and where they are,” she said.

Mohammed regretted that mistrust and insecurity are growing; people are feeling left out of the decision making that affects their lives.

“We often talk about the youth and their future but your future is now. No one faces these stark imbalances more than the world’s women and girls.”

According to her, the current youth population represent the largest that the world has ever seen, adding it is something really historic.

“Today, 1.8 billion young people are between the ages of 10 and 24. Every one of them has hopes.  Every one of them has aspirations.  Every one of them has his  own unique dream.

I may have a fancy job that is called the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations. But I have to tell you my job description is simple. It’s about a world that I want to build where every girl and boy has the tools, the structures and the support to make their dreams a reality,” she said.

Mohammed said investing in women and girls pays for families, communities, societies at large, economies and most importantly, for girls and women.

“So let’s focus on getting things done, taking those ambitions into real practicality, keeping in mind one of my favourite Nigerian proverbs: ‘Fine words do not produce food’.

Rhetoric has its place but implementation matters – practical action. I am counting on you to be the change agents and torchbearers that we so desperately need.

I know that you are well on your way. When I look out today, I do see the future. But I see it now. The actions that you can take as you walk out these doors.

It’s a future of equality. A future of justice. A future of dignity for women and girls and for all humanity. Let’s make that happen,” she said.


  1. john

    March 13, 2017 at 7:52 am

    men and women can never be equal till the end of days..simple why? bcos it is how nature meant it to be…the so called power women think they have or will have is an illusion that was given to them by men and very easy to take away

    • Jabawale Kingdom

      March 17, 2017 at 5:25 pm

      Women are absolutely irrational….So Like, how long is DAT going 2 take to Fix ?!

  2. 8 people, all of them are men

    March 13, 2017 at 8:59 am

    We live in a world that is out of balance. Eight people hold the same wealth as half of humanity. All of them are men, by the way.

    Equality is fine, as long as everyone merits it….Merit i mean not giving a job.slot…to people on the basis of his gender but on the basis of merit.

    My main concern is the above quote….8people hold the same wealth as half of humanity and all of them are men. Do you mean the 8 people should have been 4 males and 4 females? That would be absurd and irrational to think of the equality proponents.

    People amass wealth based on their work, job, business, orientation, ideology, affiliation….You wouldnt advocate wealth t be distributed equally solely based on gender. If you are a female, you work for your money and you have it, fine!

    Not the ones that sit waiting for men to buy them cards, pants, phones, wigs, cars, clothes, bags, shoes…and still expect the wealth to be distributed equally. If you want wealth, work for it….dont claim gender things

    • Beard gang

      March 13, 2017 at 11:22 am

      I no kon understand o…which woman did bill gates or mark zuckerberg deprive to make money ? Apart from Islam dominated areas, who still deprives women of fundamental rights? Others are willing and ready to push for equal rights except Muslims….the day I brought up the issue of equal enjoyment of tax relief in my office, a woman(muslim) yes! woman! told me to shut up that women have husbands who take care of them…the same women told me women should not be entitled to more than 2 maternity leaves in 10 years…lol…guess what she is vice-president of our board and this supposed to be oil service o, imagine what goes on in ‘okoro and sons’ kind of companies in the north

  3. Bade

    March 13, 2017 at 9:51 am

    Physically? Yes. Nothing we can do about it.
    Economically? Absolutely, positively, assuredly NOT! Why impose that on yourself? Wake up and show your future daughters the way out of suffering that many silently endure till their graves.

  4. ab

    March 13, 2017 at 4:25 pm

    Man and woman truly can never be equal as John rightly said. I think what most women, feminists etc. really are advocating for are equal rights. but then again is that really possible? some roles, jobs, activities etc. require male attributes for example a company might feel that Miss A is fantastic but will break under pressure in a male dominated deal and Mr A is a beast who is just as good! To Miss A she is fantastic and yes to her bosses she is but just not suited to that role in itself. This and a host of other things makes this fight to eradicate inequality discussion somewhat unattainable, Its even worse in certain industries, culture & demographics and I think the most important thing to glean from what Amina has said is to make sure that we as women seek out our own opportunities and put our best foot forward, not wait around for some dude or someone somewhere to tell us, I like what she said here – Rhetoric has its place but implementation matters – practical action’, practical steps are soo vital in creation and more so supporting each other,. I think that the minute we as women start creating these opportunities for ourselves, involving other women in these opportunities that we create and supporting one another in the created opportunities, ha-ha, the men will notice and perhaps begin to realise that women can do it too! There are too many discussions on ‘women can do it too but very little evidence to back em up! or maybe there are women doing it but they are not seen or celebrated enough and these women themselves because they are working so hard to show that they too can do it, forget to map out opportunities for younger women who may want to be like them one day! Men have sons and start teaching them the ropes of business (if it is a man that has an empire for example), women too need to start running things and showing their daughters the way in that field the minute they are able to sing ABCDE….

  5. OJ

    March 13, 2017 at 5:35 pm

    AMINA mohammed will incure the wrath of Chimamanda and her fans here ooooo for saying something so obviously realistic…OYA where dem dey, come and attack me!!!

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