October 10, 2020 | News | No Comments
A political declaration from the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, aimed at achieving global gender equality by 2030, “lacks ambition,” according to nearly 1,000 women’s rights and feminist organizations from around the world.
In the document, which was formally adopted on Monday, world governments pledge to: bolster implementation of laws related to gender equality; bolster institutions vital to women’s empowerment; transform discriminatory norms and stereotypes; close resource gaps; boost accountability; and enhance capacities and data to track progress.
“The overwhelming lack of political commitment and financial resources, plain old sexism and misogyny, along with increasing religious fundamentalisms have affected the quality of the agreements produced by governments within the UN and at other levels.”
—Lydia Alpízar, Association for Women’s Rights in Development
But a coalition of groups working to advance the human rights of women and girls say the declaration is milquetoast and must be strengthened.
“The text of the political declaration is weak and does not go far enough towards the transformative change that is needed for gender equality,” said Lydia Alpízar, executive director of the Association for Women’s Rights in Development, in a speech Monday. “We, women of the world in all our diversity, deserve much better than this. We deserve that you put aside your ideological, political and religious differences and fully recognize and affirm the human rights of women and girls and gender justice. Nothing less.”
A joint statement issued by 974 groups blasts the UN declaration as “a bland reaffirmation of existing commitments” that “threatens a major step backward” in the realm of women’s rights. The organizations also decry the lack of transparency around the crafting of the declaration, which they claim is the result of “several months of closed-door negotiations” from which women’s groups were largely excluded.
“[M]any of the gains that women and girls have made are under threat and women and girls worldwide face extraordinary and unprecedented challenges, including economic inequality, climate change and ocean acidification, and rising, violent fundamentalisms,” reads the statement. “At a time when urgent action is needed to fully realize gender equality, the human rights and empowerment of women and girls, we need renewed commitment, a heightened level of ambition, real resources, and accountability.”
Specifically, the groups are calling for stronger language that:
- The attempt of governments to marginalize the role of these groups is an affront to women, everywhere.
- including detailed measures to reform and strengthen public institutions to address the structural causes of gender inequality; ensuring an enabling economic environment for women’s rights and gender equality beyond sector-specific financing and gender-responsive budgeting; and more.
- The Political Declaration must reaffirm the links between the human rights of women and girls and development, particularly as women and girls disproportionately are affected by the consequences of under-development.
SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT