Leave no one behind, a message from CSW

Leave no one behind, a message from CSW

By George Arende

The 62nd session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW62) took place in New York under the theme: challenges and opportunities in achieving gender equality and empowerment of rural women and girls. Global leaders, UN experts, partners, activists and civil society organizations gathered in the Empire State from 13-23 March, to reflect on the numerous challenges facing the rural women and girls.

Challenges of inequality and discrimination hinder many rural women and girls from realizing their full potential compared to their male counterparts. Addressing the session, the UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women Phumyile Mlambo- Ngcuka called for ‘commitment to fight’ challenges such as poverty, inequality, intersectionality that lead to discrimination and violence against women.

The world eats because {women} toil’, many are ‘unpaid’ as they care for their families at the expense of their own growth, she said.

She further wondered why women contribute 60 per cent of the global agricultural workforce but only 13 per cent own land they work in.

It is the women and girls who experience multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination who bear the brunt of prejudice and exclusion’, she added. And urged member states to show commitment, acceleration and accountability in addressing what she called the ‘biggest challenge of our time’ that face women and girls.

Ecumenical Women at the UN

We uphold women and girls as whole persons, acknowledging that women and men are created in God’s image’ read a statement from Ecumenical Women at the United Nations (EW) to the commission.

The coalition of Christian denominations and ecumenical organizations, ‘denounced gender-based discrimination, violence and misuse of religious teachings that justify them’.

We welcome multi-sectorial partnership that empower women and challenge harmful, discriminatory interpretation and practice’ the statement further read.

The joint statement emphasized the importance of women empowerment to achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s); and cited ‘land-grabbing, access to land, impact of climate change on agriculture, privatization of critical public services, corporate appropriation of indigenous resources’, as some of the main challenges affecting rural women.

Speaking at the launch of the UN Women 2018 report ‘Turning Promises into Action: Gender equality in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’; The Secretary General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres reminds us that-as long as women are economically and socially disempowered in the world of work and in their homes and communities, growth will not be inclusive and will not succeed in ending poverty.The next Commission on the Status of Women (CSW63) will be held in March 2019 with the theme: access to public services and sustainable infrastructure for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.