UN: UN urges world to ‘step it up’ to ensure gender equality by 2030

New York, US (PANA) -  The UN has adopted a political declaration reaffirming commitment to the outcome of the historic 1995 Beijing women’s conference in China.

PANA reports that the outcome of the Beijing conference led to the Beijing Platform for Action,
a blueprint for gender equality, signed by 189 governments, which set a target to reach 30
per cent of women in decision making positions as well as to ensure the achievement of
women's rights.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who spoke on Monday at a high-level meeting to adopt the declaration, said: "As women thrive, so will humanity, but if girls are held back, the whole world will feel the pain.

"Women continue to suffer disproportionately from the economic crisis, from the impacts of climate change, from the displacement caused by conflict, persecution and so much else.

"We must build on the Beijing foundation and complete our work, and since the Beijing Conference, more girls have attained more access to more education than ever before, and maternal mortality has been almost halved. More women are leading businesses, governments and global organizations."

He, however, said that more can and must be done to realise women's rights and empowerment.

"Our goal must be 50:50 by 2030," the UN chief said, urging governments to work closely with women’s groups and organisations, and calling on all men to believe in and work for the empowerment of women.

Also speaking, UN General Assembly President Sam Kutesa called on men and boys to get increasingly involved to help break down gender stereotypes and discriminatory social norms.

"We must use the opportunity before us to advance these important discussions, follow-through on our decisions, and take the bold actions necessary to address the remaining issues that inhibit women and girls from realizing their complete potential, and being full and equal contributors to our future development aspirations," he said.

On her part, UN Women chief, Ms. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, recalled how 20 years ago, as part of a cohort of international instruments and declarations, countries pledged to achieve gender equality by 2005.

"However, we chose to prioritise the work that has not led to irreversible and deep rooted change," she said, pointing out that while constitutions may have been amended and new legislature enacted, implementation has been lacking.

"We must better address multi-sectoral problems affecting women including wars, the financial and environment crises. We must better serve disabled and marginalised women who are targeted for their sexual orientation," she emphasised.

For the next two weeks, UN member states, civil society organisations and UN entities will deliberate on the implementation of the 1995 Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.

This year's session is particularly significant as it marks the 20th anniversary of that meeting which gave birth to the action plan that has become widely known as the blueprint for women’s empowerment, and focuses on 12 critical areas of concern, from women and the environment to ending violence against women.
-0- PANA AA/SEG 10March2015

10 march 2015 09:07:36

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