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Gender Equality Must Remain Priority On WHO’s Agenda   
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Ms Lakshmi Puri, UN Women Deputy Executive Director says gender equality must remain a top priority on WHO agenda in order to close the health equity gap worldwide.

This, she, said would also contribute to development across all three dimensions spanning economic, social, and environmental spheres.

She said the Beijing Platform for Action must remain a normative motherboard, which should guide actors to move towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Ms Puri was speaking at the commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action on Women in a session at the World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland.

She paid tribute to the WHO Secretariat and for the commitment to prioritise women's health and women's agency in health for all and partnering UN Women to advance the agenda in all its dimensions.

“It is expected that the partnership would lead to the mutually reinforcing and symbiotic adoption, implementation and achievement of the SDGs on ‘Ensuring Healthy Lives and Well being for all, of all ages’ and the SDG on ‘Achieving Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment for all women and girls’, including their counter parting targets, especially sexual reproductive health and reproductive rights.’”

She called on the international community to set normative gold standards, strategic objectives and related actions and commitments on women’s health and rights and role in the health sector.

This, she said should go beyond drawing linkages between women's health and poverty, employment, environment, education power and decision making and, nutrition.

Ms Puri urged global leaders to remove multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination and structural barriers that deepen health disadvantages, compound inequalities, increase health risks, ill health, reduced well-being and jeopardise health outcomes overall.
She said a coordinated, all of government, all of society, cross-sectoral strategy and engagement as much as joining up of gender and health constituencies and institutions including the UN , private sector and civil society is necessary for growth on women issues.

Ms Puri said recently adopted ministerial political Declaration at the Commission on Status of Women committed to its full, effective and accelerated implementation by member states and other stakeholders.

It includes the private sector, civil society and academia and these must continue to be the guideposts to achieve gender equality and women empowerment by 2030.

She called for support on sexual and reproductive health of women and uphold their sexual and reproductive rights and implement gender-sensitive initiatives.
Source: GNA

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