During her participation in the 60th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) held in the United Nations Headquarters in New York (from 14 to 14 March 2016), Nehad Abol Komsan presented her comments on several points related to the draft agreed conclusion on Women’s empowerment and the link to sustainable development. Her comments were as the following:
On the cooperation between governments and civil society to implement the 2030 development goals
There should be a more detailed mechanism on ensuring government actors working with civil society to avoid and overcome restrictive policies as governments might tighten public work, impeding the progress of civil society organizations and halting their progress.
Violence against women and girls
VAWG is a persisting phenomenon. It impedes women from contributing properly with their maximum potential to public life either as mothers or as working women. Hence, all types of VAWG should be included and defined in these conclusions in order to include not only physical but also psychological terrorizing violence and avoid any confusion on the definition of violence when translated into strategic and legal frameworks.
– As we keep asking the woman to be active and report in case she is subjected to violence, we should develop the reporting mechanism and cycle. Women should be protected against all the violations that they could experience throughout the process of reporting their cases that would discourage them from reporting.
No plan is outlined. There should be a detailed plan on how to eradicate poverty, as women are the most underutilized human resource.
– A clear and comprehensive mechanism should be framed for the social protection systems that would protect women against poverty, especially in lower middle income. This would help in itself avoid all the excuses that could be put on the table by lower middle and low income countries.
There should be a more binding comprehensive mechanism for member states to implement 2030 sustainable development agenda, in addition to the implementation of the platform of action of Beijing as well as 2030 sustainable development agenda.
Controversy of cultural issues
With regards to the part of (the significance of and full respect for various religious and ethical values, cultural backgrounds and philosophical convictions of individuals), it is a bit controversial, as for instance FGM can be considered a cultural or religious act. Thus, there should be a part that asserts “in accordance with the general principles of human and women right as stated in the CEDAW”.
Economic empowerment and decent work
There should be a provision on the inclusion of the informal sector as a lot of women deprived of rights and protection.
It is believed that the main focus should be Support school-to-work transition as mentioned in Sub19 as that is the case in many developing countries especially with Girls Education in most countries has been increasing yet in countries for instance like Egypt this is not reflected in the female to male labour force participation, in fact unemployed women are triple the number of unemployed men with the unemployment rate for women has reached 25.8 percent, while the rate for men is at 8.9 percent.
It is hardly clear how to ensure women’s participation along the side of men, hence there should be more work on it given that the issue is mostly is the low number of women in political leadership, thus it’s a matter of women in politics to reflect and promote women’s needs and interests in strategies and responses, as well as safeguard the human rights of women and girls. Instead there should be a focus on increasing women’s representation in politics and decision making positions with gender integrated policies deemed effective according to the countries’ context as for instance quotas.
Last but not least, gender equality and women empowerment should be cross cutting the 2030 sustainable development goals, women empowerment is not only a goal in itself, yet it’s a mean to achieve most of the goals as for instance eradicating poverty. Yet, the lack of such culture would highly affect the further of women’s rights as an integral part not only of human rights but of socio-economic development.
The absence of gender integrated data will remain as first obstacle in the adoption of gender mainstreaming policies that would help achieve 2030 goals. With this regard, more resources should be allocated and countries practices should be shared and exchanged.
Nehad Abol Komsan Comments on CSW 60th Draft Conclusions in New York
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