The fight over the past 50 years for women’s rights is a story of progress. Women and girls have broken down barriers, dismantled stereotypes and paved the way for a fairer and more equal world. Women’s rights were finally recognized as fundamental and universal human rights. There are hundreds of millions more girls in classrooms around the world. And pioneering leaders have broken the glass ceiling in different parts of the world. However, progress is threatened and total equality still seems to be a distant horizon. Billions of women and girls face marginalization, injustice and discrimination as societies continue to be shaped by millennia of sexist domination. The continuing epidemic of gender-based violence is an ignominy to humanity. It is estimated that every year, more than four million girls are at risk of female genital mutilation. Discrimination against women and girls remains absolutely legal in much of the world. In some places, this makes it difficult for women to access property; in others, it allows a man to rape his wife with impunity. Meanwhile, global crises are hitting women and girls harder than anyone else. Where there are conflicts, climate disasters, poverty or hunger, they suffer the most. In all regions of the world, more women than men suffer from hunger. In both developed and developing countries, there is a backlash against women’s rights, including their sexual and reproductive rights, which is hindering or even reversing progress. New technologies, which have so much potential to undo inequalities, often worsen this situation, whether due to inequalities of access, prejudices incorporated into algorithms, or misogynistic violence, which ranges from the ultra-false specific harassment of certain women. At the rate we’re going, there won’t be full legal equality for women for about 300 years; By then, child marriage will not have ended either. It is a real insult that progress is being made at this rate: it is not possible that half of humanity must wait centuries to enjoy their rights. There must be equality today. This means you need to pick up your pace. And this requires political ambition and investment, which is why they are the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day. Where conflicts, climate disasters, poverty or hunger occur, they suffer the most. We need public and private investment in programs to end violence against women, ensure decent work, and promote women’s inclusion and leadership in all sectors. sectors of the economy, as well as in digital technologies, peacebuilding and climate action. We also urgently need to support women’s rights organizations who fight against stereotypes or outdated cultural norms and who fight every day for women and girls to be heard. Today, they receive only 0.1% of international development spending. This must change. Investing can seem very foreign to women’s daily lives. However, investments are needed so that girls benefit from the same educational opportunities as boys. Investment is needed to provide digital education and develop skills. Investment is needed to provide child care so that those caring for their children – almost always mothers – can do paid work outside the home. And investments are needed to build inclusive communities and societies in which women and girls from all backgrounds fully participate. Investing money in equality is the right thing to do, but it also pays off. Helping women enter the workforce grows the economy, increases tax revenues and expands opportunities for all. To get the investment we need in women and girls, three things are needed. First, we must increase the availability of affordable, long-term finance for sustainable development and resolve the debt crisis that is choking many developing economies. Otherwise, countries will not have the funds to invest in women and girls, it’s as simple as that. We need immediate action to provide relief to countries facing looming and unsustainable debt repayments and to encourage multilateral development banks to mobilize more private finance at an affordable cost. In the long term, we must reform the international financial architecture and make it much more responsive to the needs of developing countries. At this rate, there won’t be full legal equality for women for another 300 years. Second, countries must prioritize equality for women and girls, recognizing that equality is not just a matter of rights, but the basis of any peaceful and prosperous society. To do this, governments must actively combat discrimination, allocate funds to programs that support women and girls, and ensure that policies, budgets and investments meet their needs. Third, we need to increase the number of women in leadership positions. Placing women in positions of power can help increase investment in policies and programs that respond to the realities of women and girls. I am particularly proud that since the beginning of my mandate, and for the first time in history, we have had an equal number of women and men in leadership positions across the United Nations system. The tie should have already been achieved. To put an end to patriarchy, you need money: it’s time to put some in.