Kamala Harris to make UN debut to promote gender equality

Vice President Kamala Harris
Vice President Kamala Harris; Photo credit: White House

Indian American VP honors women ‘risking their health, to nourish and protect us’ during Covid-19 pandemic.

Kamala Harris is all set to make her United Nations debut as US Vice President on March 16 at an annual meeting of the world body to boost promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women.

Harris, America’s first Black and Indian American woman Vice President, will address the virtual 65th Commission on the Status of Women, according to US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield.

“We all believe and understand that when women do better, countries do better,” she said Monday. “It is time we translate our noble commitments into concrete action.”

Thomas-Greenfield said the United States would take a leading role to combat sexual and gender-based violence around the world and to push for more women to be included in peace talks globally.

Harris herself took to Twitter Monday saying, “On this #InternationalWomensDay, I want to honor the women who for over a year have gone to work, often risking their health, to nourish and protect us—the doctors, nurses, teachers, grocery store workers, first responders, members of the military, scientists, and many more.”

Hailing Harris’ historic election as America’s first Black and South Asian-woman vice president, the UN leadership has previously applauded her for breaking “yet another ceiling” and describing it as a “milestone for gender equality”.

The previous Trump administration cut funding in 2017 for the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) saying it “supports, or participates in the management of, a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization.”

The United Nations has described it as as an inaccurate perception. It has also rejected Trump administration’s accusation made last May that it was using the coronavirus pandemic to promote access to abortion through its humanitarian response to the pandemic.

President Joe Biden intends to restore UNFPA funding.

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