Top Asian News 4:15 a.m. GMT

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UN chief: Legal equality for women could take 300 years as backlash rises against women's rights

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Legal equality for women could take centuries as the fight for gender equality is becoming an uphill struggle against widespread discrimination and gross human human rights abuses, the United Nations chief said on International Women’s Day. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told a packed U.N. commemoration Friday that “a global backlash against women’s rights is threatening, and in some cases reversing, progress in developing and developed countries alike.” The most egregious example is in Afghanistan, he said, where the ruling Taliban have barred girls from education beyond sixth grade, from employment outside the home, and from most public spaces, including parks and hair salons.