World

UN chief warns women globally are suffering 'new assaults'

U.N. Under-Secretary-General Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, executive director of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, acknowledges greetings before addressing a women's rights conference in the U.N. General Assembly, Monday March 13, 2017 at U.N. headquarters. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

U.N. Under-Secretary-General Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, executive director of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, acknowledges greetings before addressing a women's rights conference in the U.N. General Assembly, Monday March 13, 2017 at U.N. headquarters. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)  (The Associated Press)

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warns that women are suffering "new assaults on their safety and dignity" around the world, pointing to extremists subjugating women and governments curtailing women's freedoms and rolling back laws against domestic violence.

He told the Commission on the Status of Women on Monday that educating and empowering women is the best way to prevent "challenges that arise from violent extremism, human rights violations, xenophobia and other threats."

Guterres didn't name any countries or groups, but his message was clearly aimed at the Islamic State extremist group, which sells women and girls as sex slaves. He also likely includes U.S. President Donald Trump's expanded ban on funds to organizations that provide abortions or abortion information and Russia for new legislation decriminalizing some forms of domestic violence.