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Amid a growing pushback against women's rights, leaders from across government, business, non-profit and academia step forward to respectfully disrupt status quo and accelerate progress toward achieving gender equality at UN Women's  HeForShe Summit.  

NEW YORK, Sept. 22, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Alongside the United Nations General Assembly, key stakeholders from the global private and public sector gathered at UN Women's  HeForShe Summit to reinforce commitments, share innovative solutions, and increase collaboration across sectors to achieve gender equality.

UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women, Sima Bahous, delivered opening remarks. UN Women/Ryan Brown

With a growing pushback against women's rights, institutions and individuals have an increasing role and responsibility to play in the pursuit of gender equality. As a key moment along the midpoint for Generation Equality, the world's leading initiative to boost investment and implementation of gender equality, the HeForShe Summit calls for everyone to play their part and respectfully disrupt the patriarchal status quo that holds us back from closing current gender gaps.

 "It should particularly alarm us that the attitudes of young men seem to be going backwards, unfortunately," said Sima Bahous, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women. "A UN Women-supported survey showed that 58 per cent of young men aged 16-19 believe that men are better political leaders than women. How then will we achieve equality of women's leadership?   Nearly 1 in 4 young men believe that there are acceptable instances to hit a partner or spouse.   How then will we end the scourge of violence against women?"

Ms. Bahous praised the HeForShe Champions from across government, business, non-profit and academia for stepping forward and taking action as gender equality advocates and allies. "Our corporate champions have increased participation of women in their Boards to a minimum of 40 per cent.  This is commendable", she said.

The Summit was marked with a spoken-word performance by poet, activist and artist, Rupi Kaur, who premiered her unpublished poem "to believe in equality", as well as a musical performance by pianist, composer and activist, Chloe Flower.

Throughout the event, leaders reiterated a resounding call to action to respectfully disrupt. Michael Roberts, CEO of HSBC US and Americas, and Maha AlQattan, Group Chief Sustainability Officer of DP World, urged business leaders around the world to introduce mechanisms for accountability in making gender equality a business priority. Dr. Joy Buolamwini, Founder of the Algorithmic Justice League and author of Unmasking AI, and Dr. Sasha Luccioni, recently named one of MIT Technology Review's 2023 35 Innovators Under 35 in Artificial Intelligence, both reinforced the need to balance progress of Artificial Intelligence with the threat of perpetuating and deepening gender bias. Masculinity experts such as Richard Reeves, nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institute and President of the American Institute for Boys and Men, as well as Michelle Terry, CEO of Movember, called for a new model of masculinity – one that inspires solutions and reframes the gender equality conversation away from a zero-sum game.

The recent UN Women and UN DESA report, "Progress on the Sustainable Development Goals: The Gender Snapshot 2023" shows that progress on gender equality is way off track and demonstrates the need of an additional USD 360 billion in investment per year to achieve gender equality and women's empowerment by 2030. The mission of the HeForShe Alliance is not only to inspire strategic investment, but ultimately to respectfully disrupt patriarchal structures that sustain and perpetuate gender bias and its manifestations throughout industries, governments, nonprofit organizations, universities, and everyday lives.

Join the conversation:  Follow @HeForShe @UN_Women on Twitter using the hashtag #HeForSheSummit

About UN Women
UN Women is the United Nations entity dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. A global champion for women and girls, UN Women was established to accelerate progress on meeting their needs worldwide.

For more information, visit  

About HeForShe:
Created by UN Women, Heforshe is a solidarity movement for gender equality that invites men and boys to act for a more equal world. HeForShe provides targeted platform where a global audience can engage and advocate for the achievement of gender equality in our lifetime. The movement invites people around the world to stand together as equal partners to craft a shared vision of a gender-equal world and implement specific, locally relevant solutions. For more information, visit:

 Media Contacts:  

Janine Kandel, UN Women –,

Kiri Jo Ginnerup, UN Women –

Poet, Activist and Artist, Rupi Kaur, delivered a spoken-word performance. UN Women/Ryan Brown

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