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UN Secretary-General António Guterres in an August 31, 2020 Town Hall with Young Women from Civil Society Organizations.UN Web TV

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September 10, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — UN Secretary-General António Guterres has said that the coronavirus crisis has highlighted an ongoing system of “patriarchy” and a “male-dominated culture which damages everyone.”

“The pandemic is only demonstrating what we all know: that millennia of patriarchy have resulted in a male-dominated world with a male-dominated culture which damages everyone – women, men, girls and boys,” Guterres said in an August 31 Town Hall with Young Women from Civil Society Organizations. 

His comments were later posted on Twitter via the official UN account.

Guterres decried the “salaries and conditions” of women employed in the health care sector, the percentage of women in “decision-making roles” in the health sector and that “Personal Protective Equipment is often made to fit a standard man” which he says means that “women care workers may be at greater risk of infection.”

His speech also included a call not to allow the coronavirus crisis to impact women’s access to “sexual and reproductive health services,” a euphemism frequently used in UN documents to refer to contraception and abortion.

“It is simply counter-productive, for example, to deprioritize maternal and reproductive health services,” he said.

“All women have a right to quality, affordable sexual and reproductive health services. Governments have a responsibility to make sure women and girls can access these services, even during a crisis.”  

Without a trace of irony, Guterres said moments later in his speech that “We need to take the opportunity of an economic reset to ensure the rights to life, dignity, and security for everyone.”

Guterres said that the UN’s “roadmap” to “rebuild more equal, inclusive, and resilient societies” is the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

That agenda calls for “universal access to sexual and reproductive health” and the further imposition of “comprehensive sexuality education programmes” around the world. 

Pope Francis said during his September 2015 Address to the General Assembly of the United Nations that “The adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the World Summit, which opens today, is an important sign of hope”.