UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for boosting efforts to protect and promote women’s rights, dignity and leadership.

“Gender equality and women’s rights are fundamental to global progress on peace and security, human rights and sustainable development,” he said in a message marking the International Women’s Day, which will be observed on March 8.

“We live in a male-dominated world with a male-dominated culture. Only when we see women’s rights as our common objective, a route to change that benefits everyone, will we begin to shift the balance,” Guterres said.