United Nations has adopted a stripped-down political declaration on women’s rights that seeks to preserve gains under threat but does not advocate new ways to ensure progress toward equality.
The declaration was adopted during the 64th session of the Commission on the Status of Women, which has been drastically reduced from a two-week affair to a single hours-long meeting because of the global coronavirus outbreak.
Twelve thousand participants were originally set to take part. But Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged member states not to send delegations to New York, and to cancel debates and other events surrounding the meeting — the UN’s second-largest each year after the General Assembly.
Addressing the meeting, the Secretary-General said, Centuries of discrimination, deep-rooted patriarchy and misogyny have created a yawning gender power gap in our economies, our political systems and our corporations.
The adopted text follows the main lines of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action of 1995, which sought to promote women’s emancipation and advancement around the world.
The declaration expresses the UN’s concern that “overall, progress has not been fast or deep enough, that in some areas progress has been uneven, and that major gaps remain.”
One diplomat noted that 75 percent of all members of parliament worldwide are still men.
The declaration itself noted that 25 years after the Beijing summit, “no country has fully achieved gender equality.”
On the question of violence against women — highlighted by the “MeToo” movement against sexual abuse — the signatories commit to “eliminating, preventing and responding to all forms of violence and harmful practices against all women and girls, in public and private spheres, including in digital contexts.”
They also pledge to fight against “human trafficking and modern slavery and other forms of exploitation,” and to ensure just treatment and provide support services for “all women victims of violence.”
A UN declaration on women is approved every five years.
Source: News On Air