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Photograph: EPA/Noemi Bruzak HUNGARY OUT

Despite global efforts, gender inequality is still deeply rooted in our societies and women still earn less than men, have less property and carry the burden of unpaid work and care, and violence against women still affects one in three women, Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic said at a meeting of the Equal Futures Partnership, held on the margins of the ongoing UN General Assembly session, her office said in a statement.

Grabar-Kitarovic chaired the meeting which focused on the economic and political empowerment of women.

In her address, she said that political leaders were crucial in ensuring positive trends and supporting the full participation of women in politics and business.

The Equal Futures Partnership initiative encourages its members to cooperate, regardless of their geographical borders, in finding the most suitable solutions, she said, calling for dealing with the structural causes of gender inequality by adopting legislation and facilitating the creation of a solid institutional infrastructure and providing proper funding.

We promote and support pairing in specific problems - from the economic empowerment of those who have survived gender-based violence to the empowerment of women in managerial positions in commerce and the promotion of the role of girls and women in the IT sector, Grabar-Kitarovic said while speaking about the initiative.

As a member of the Equal Futures Partnership, Croatia is strongly committed to achieving the common goal of empowering women in politics and business and putting an end to all forms of sexual and gender-based violence, Grabar-Kitarovic said.

The meeting was also addressed, on behalf of last year's chair of the Equal Futures Partnership, by US Secretary of State John Kerry, who thanked Grabar-Kitarovic for her chairmanship of the meeting and leadership in efforts to ensure for women the opportunities and rights they deserve, according to the statement.

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