UN’s largest gathering on women’s rights delivers robust blueprint on strengthening women’s leadership and participation in public life

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UN’s largest gathering on women’s rights delivers robust blueprint on strengthening women’s leadership and participation in public life

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UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka addresses the closing of the 65th session of CSW. Photo: UN Web TV (screengrab)

New York, 26 March – Against the backdrop of a global pandemic, world leaders issued today a strong pledge for women’s full and effective participation and decision-making in public life and the elimination of violence at the closing of the 65th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW65), as the countdown for the Generation Equality Forum in Mexico (29 - 31 March) begins.

The two-week-long gathering ended with the adoption by UN Member States of the Agreed Conclusions, its main outcome document, which recognizes the need to significantly accelerate the pace of progress to ensure women’s full participation and leadership at all levels of decision-making in executive, legislative and judicial branches of government and the public sector. It also recognizes that temporary special measures, such as quotas, and increased political will are needed as an enabling pathway to this goal.

The Executive Director of UN Women, which serves as the CSW Secretariat, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, said: “This is the first session of the Commission on the Status of Women in 15 years to engage with the issue of women’s participation in public life and these Agreed Conclusions make important advances. The women of the world have made it very clear that the past and the status quo have not met their need for gender equality.” Recalling the devastating, discriminatory impact of the pandemic, she urged all Member States to move ahead rapidly to achieve equal representation.

The Agreed Conclusions acknowledge that the COVID-19 pandemic is deepening pre-existing inequalities that perpetuate multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination, as well as racism, stigmatization and xenophobia. Yet, recent data show that women have been mostly absent from COVID-19 government task forces around the world – women make up only 24 percent of the 225 task force members examined across 137 countries.

Click here to read the full article published by UN Women on 26 March 2021.

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