President joins UN drive towards gender equality
President Michael D Higgins was "very happy" to accept the invitation to become a champion of the UN's 'HeforShe' campaign, joining just nine other world leaders who will help to lead the "solidarity movement for gender equality".
He made the announcement at the 'A Woman's Place in the World' conference in Dublin yesterday morning, which was held to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the United Declaration and Platform for Action which was adopted in Beijing in 1995.
President Higgins said that the 'HeforShe' campaign, which was launched by UN Goodwill Ambassador actress Emma Watson last year, will "involve the support of all of the members of the human family on the planet, men and women".
"When I was invited, I gave it a lot of consideration and I am very happy to accept it," he said.
"Under the leadership of UN Women and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the campaign provides the platform for men to be part of a renewed movement to complete the work we began at Beijing."
Also speaking at yesterday's event in Dublin Castle was Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald, who discussed the urgent need "to get women out of poverty and into all areas of decision making".
And former President Mary Robinson addressed the audience about the role of women in climate change.