Ms Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women, has revealed that COVID-19 pandemic is a reminder that traditional notions of “security” which fuels the weapons industry cannot protect mankind from dangers and challenges of everyday life

She said before the pandemic, women were already over-represented in vulnerable economic sectors and bore the brunt of unpaid care and domestic work.

“When COVID-19 hit, women who make up 70 per cent of the global health care workforce found themselves on the frontlines of the response as countless other women lost their livelihoods and took on greater household burdens.

“The pandemic will push 47 million more women and girls into extreme poverty. Rates of intimate partner violence—mainly perpetrated by men against women have skyrocketed, in a horrifying “shadow pandemic” of all forms of violence against women and girls,” she stated in a document made available to the Ghana News Agency at Tema on Monday.

The UN Women document titled: “For a safer and more resilient world, put people before runaway military spending”.

Ms Mlambo-Ngcuka noted recovering from the pandemic must mean strengthening women’s social and economic security, including through stronger investments in health, education, and social protection systems that advance gender equality.

“But the safety and well-being of everyday people have historically taken a backseat to a narrower and militarized idea of security, one that still leads decision-makers to spend vast amounts of money to build overflowing arsenals of weapons,” she said.

The UN Women Executive Director noted that moving forward will require embracing a broader vision of security, which will reduce reliance on military armaments, accounts for our common humanity and recognizes women’s empowerment as a critical driver of sustainable peace and development.

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