Ex-New Zealand PM urges young women to uphold their rights
MANILA, Philippines – Former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark urged young women to continue speaking up for their rights, even as it will take nearly a century to close the gender gap.
In a Rappler Talk interview with Maria Ressa on Saturday, March 17, Clark cited the global gender parity study of the World Economic Forum. The study said it will take almost 100 years to close the gender gap globally, and another 217 years to close it in the workplace.
"It is completely unacceptable," she said.
"We see the #MeToo movement, and I took encouragement from them because I see women standing up (for their rights). There's a chain of reaction speaking out across all sectors of economy and society. You have to have that kind of catalyst for change and it is motivating a younger generation of women now," she said.
Learning from experience, Clark said that the times still call for "perseverance" and a long-term view of things. (READ: 'Abante babae:' Thousands march to uphold women's rights)
"We have to step. But never stand up on your own without support. You need to have a network surround you – your colleagues, your family, the alliances that you make. You have to be prepared to persevere over a very long period of time," she said.
Clark served as the first woman elected as prime minister of New Zealand – and the second woman overall to hold office – from 1999 up to 2008.
She later became the administrator of the United Nations Development Programme from 2009 to 2017. – Rappler.com