The 60th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) has tasked UN Member States to commit to the gender-responsive implementation of Agenda 2030.
The CSW60 in a set of agreed conclusions at the end of the session at New York called for enhancing the basis for rapid progress, including stronger laws, policies and institutions, better data and scaled-up financing.
It acknowledged that progress on the Sustainable Development Goals at the heart of Agenda 2030 will not be possible without gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.
The agreed conclusions urge for a comprehensive approach to implementing all 17 Sustainable Development Goals through the integration of gender perspectives across all government policies and programmes.
Eliminating all forms of gender-based discrimination depends on effective laws and policies and the removal of any statutes still permitting discrimination.
Temporary special measures may be required to guarantee that women and girls can obtain justice for human rights violations.
Given the major contributions to Agenda 2030 of civil society, including women’s and community-based organizations, feminist groups, human rights defenders and girls’ and youth-led organizations, the Commission welcomed open engagement and cooperation with them in gender-responsive implementation.
It emphasized fully engaging with men and boys as agents of change and allies in the elimination of all forms of discrimination and violence against women and girls.
To guide systematic progress towards gender equality and women’s empowerment throughout the 2030 Agenda, the Commission stressed enhanced national statistical capacity and the systematic design, collection and sharing of high-quality, reliable and timely data disaggregated by sex, age and income.
Ms Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Women Executive Director said: “UN Member Countries have set the year 2030 as gender inequality expiry date.
“Now it is time to get to work. These agreed conclusions entrench and start the implementation of a gender-responsive agenda 2030 with which we have the best possibility to leave no one behind”.
She said growing global commitment was already in evidence with a record number of more than 80 government ministers from around the world attending the Commission.
Around 4,100 non-governmental representatives from more than 540 organizations participated, the highest number ever for one of the Commission’s regular annual meetings.
CSW60 endorsed increased investment to close resource gaps for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.
Funds should be mobilized from all sources, domestic and international, ranging from fulfilling official development assistance commitments to combating illicit financial flows that shortchange public resources for gender equality.
Members of the Commission united behind ensuring women’s equal participation in leadership at all levels of decision-making in the public and private spheres, encompassing governments, businesses and other institutions, and across all areas of sustainable development.
Depending on different circumstances, this may involve establishing temporary special measures, setting and achieving concrete benchmarks and removing barriers to women’s participation.
Members also agreed to bolster the role of national mechanisms for women and girls in championing their equality and empowerment.
Nana Oye Lithur, Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection who led Ghana’s delegation told the Ghana News Agency in an interview that a comprehensive approach is needed to increase women’s participation in power and decision-making.
She said Greater efforts are needed to support women’s political participation through capacity building, training and dedicated gender equality structures.
Nana Oye Lithur reiterated that Ghanaian Women have set reinvigorated targets for the next 15 years, to ensure that women occupy their rightful positions in power and decision-making of the country.
“Women have now put forward a gender check list to serve as the benchmark for measuring results by 2030,” she said.
Nana Oye Lithur called on all state institutions, governmental and non-governmental bodies to give the baby Agenda 2030 the necessary support.
She said Agenda 2030 was not a fight against men, or a struggle to dislodged men from any position, “the importance of women’s equal participation in decision-making as a means of achieving transparent and accountable government and administration for sustainable development.
Nana Oye Lithur, a Gender Advocate, noted that Agenda 2030 acknowledges that despite the steady increase in women’s political representation and participation in parliaments, women remain significantly under-represented at the highest levels of political participation, as well as across the public and private sectors.
The Gender Minister explained that the persistence of discrimination, gender bias, and the threat of violence, harassment, and intimidation in political institutions, contribute to the low level of women’s political participation.
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