Speech: “We must be united to end racism as well as gender inequality”

Remarks by Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Under-Secretary-General and UN Women Executive Director, at the urgent debate on current racially inspired human rights violations, systemic racism, police brutality and the violence against peaceful protest during the 43rd session of the Human Rights Council.

[As delivered]

Madam President, distinguished delegates,

UN Women believes that women are part of their lived experiences. These experiences impact on who they become, as well as on their families. These experiences may be religious, racial, cultural, or related to sexual orientation.

The Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent have highlighted that girls and women of African Descent are likely to be poorer, to be less educated and to have fewer opportunities everywhere in the world.

We are now seeing an outpouring of solidarity, with people protesting in the streets against systemic and brutal racism.

We need to fight against racism, too, in our own institutions and everywhere in the world; because only if we are united, we will build back together after COVID-19.

In fighting apartheid, it took people of the world also to be in solidarity and to fight together and help to end apartheid.

This time has come again. We must be united to end racism as well as gender inequality in the world.