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Thu Jun 27, 2013, 12:21 AM

UN Women launches global call for a transformative agenda to make gender equality a reality

Position paper calls for freedom from violence, equality in capabilities and resources, and women’s voice to be the cornerstones of a stand-alone gender equality goal
(New York, 26 June) Drawing global attention to the persistent factors that block the achievement of gender equality, women’s rights and women’s empowerment worldwide, UN Women has launched a call to galvanize the gender equality agenda and ensure concrete action that will enable women and girls to truly live as equal citizens everywhere. In a position paper released today, UN Women offers clear direction on policies that are necessary to usher meaningful and lasting transformation, so that women’s and girls’ rights can be universally secured.

The call for a transformative framework to achieve gender equality, women’s rights and women’s empowerment comes in the midst of a global conversation about the legacy and next steps after the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) — eight internationally agreed goals with a timeline of 2015, which have been the blueprint for action to reduce poverty since the year 2000. Intergovernmental and UN-led processes are currently under way to inform and design a post-2015 development agenda and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

With the MDGs set to expire in 2015, studies show that the goals have spurred significant progress, but yielded uneven results, including continuing lack of progress on reducing maternal mortality. About 800 women die every day due to childbirth and other pregnancy-related complications. Other gaps include: persistent gender wage gaps, with women being paid 10 to 30 per cent less than men; low representation in parliaments, with only 1 in 5 legislators being women; vulnerable employment, with nearly two-thirds of women largely outside the protection of the law in 2011; and violence against women and girls, with nearly in 1 in 3 women impacted during their lifetimes.

UN Women’s position paper emphasizes that the post-2015 agenda must build on the achievements of the MDGs, while avoiding their shortcomings. It underlines that for the realization of women’s rights, it is critical to address the structural causes of gender inequality, such as the pandemic of violence against women, unpaid care work, limited control over assets and property, and unequal participation in private and public decision-making.


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