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Many women, girls left out of development gains, UN agency says

09-21-2010 09:53 BJT Special Report:Premier Wen Attends 2 UN Conferences |

UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) -- In spite of strides made toward achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), large numbers of women and girls, especially those in rural areas, have been left behind and continue to live in exclusion and poverty, according to United Nations data unveiled on Monday.

"Ending discrimination against women and enhancing gender justice are at the heart of meeting the MDGs," said Ines Alberdi, Executive Director of the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM).

The agency released its latest figures as scores of heads of state and government are gathering at a UN conference in New York to assess progress on reaching the MDGs, one of which focuses on promoting gender equality and empowering women.

"There is no shortage of promising practices to end inequalities between women and men, but there remains a critical shortage of resources to scale up investment of best practices that work," Alberdi stressed.

The publication has revealed the need for urgent action in four areas critical to gender justice and the MDGs.

Firstly, stepped-up measures are needed to boost women-friendly public services to meet women and girls' right to education, health and food, it says.

In particular, secondary education is very important for girls because it enables them to access jobs, lowers their chance of contracting HIV and gives them a greater say in household decisions.

The report underscores the need for land and jobs for women to ensure their right to decent livelihoods through access to economic assets.

The report also urges an increase in women's voices in decision-making, calling for more women in leadership from the community to the global level.

Editor:Li yang |Source: Xinhua

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