UN: 'Valuing women’s work key to achieving SDG on gender equality' – ILO official

New York, US (PANA) - Applauding the decision by UN member states to include gender equality as a key plank of the newly-adopted 2030 Agenda, Chief of Gender, Equality and Diversity Branch at the International Labour Organization (ILO), Ms. Shauna Olney has stressed the importance of empowering women in employment, salaries and the working environment.

She also urged governments to commit to this achievable and basic right for women and girls.

In a statement acknowledging the progress made in education and mortality, however Ms. Olney stated: "The world has fallen short in bringing women’s employment, earnings and working conditions in line with those of men."

She said the quality of jobs was paramount, and also half of women were employed globally
and their wages were about ¾ of what men earn, in addition to their domestic responsibilities.

According to her, workplace violence and under-representation in senior positions are two
other prominent issues to tackle.

Moving on to women’s social and economic status, the ILO official said cultural traditions
and economic conditions cannot excuse discrimination and other violations of fundamental
human rights.

"Countries," she said, "cannot any longer afford to lose out on this aspect of gender parity."

"ILO equality Conventions, addressing discrimination, equal remuneration for work of
equal value, maternity protection and work and family measures, including access to
parental leave as well as quality and affordable social care services for dependent family
members, provide the road map for action," said Ms. Olney.

She also noted that more countries are making public policies by considering the root
causes and results of gender inequality and discriminations, among which Chile, France
and Ethiopia have set some good examples.

"Until appreciation and measures of women’s work are made will there be gender
equality," she stressed.

The ILO official went on to spotlight ILO’s Women at Work Centenary Initiative, which
has been prepared for the centenary of the agency, saying that it showcased a leading
role ILO plays in guiding the transformation to gender equality in the workplace.

"Promoting decent jobs for women is imperative, and Goal 5 is achievable. The evidence
is there and the commitments as well. It is now time to take action and invest in women,"
she concluded.
-0-  PANA  AA/AR  27Oct2015

27 october 2015 13:53:03

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