UN Women - United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women

UN Women to Call for Protection of Women’s Rights Worldwide during 67th Session of the UN General Assembly

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Date: 19 September 2012

Media contacts :

Oisika Chakrabarti, oisika.chakrabarti[at]unwomen.org, +1 646 781-4522
Hadrien Bonnaud, hadrien.bonnaud[at]unwomen.org, +1 646 781-4751
Sharon Grobeisen, sharon.grobeisen[at]unwomen.org, +1 646 781-4753

Globally, 139 constitutions include guarantees of gender equality, 125 countries outlaw domestic violence, and women have equal rights to own property in 115 countries and equal inheritance rights in 93 nations. Yet the rule of law often rules women out. The implementation of laws lag behind, impunity is often the norm rather than the exception and women continue to suffer widespread gender-based violence and massive human rights violations. Efforts to advance women's equal rights, opportunity and participation remain uneven.

Against the backdrop of the high-level debate of the 67th UN General Assembly where governments will focus on the rule of law, UN Women is calling on world leaders to urgently commit to concrete legal and policy actions to improve women's access to justice, the foundation for gender equality and women's empowerment.

Women are central to peace and development, yet their potential remains untapped due to entrenched inequities including lack of security, limited access to economic resources and opportunities, and marginalization from decision-making. During the General Assembly, UN Women will highlight progress towards women's rights and the gaps that remain, showcasing innovative strategies and voices of partners and donors working for gender equality, and calling for urgent and strengthened action.

UN Women co-sponsored events during the 67th UN General Assembly include:

24th September

Strengthening Women's Access to Justice: High-level lunch event, co-hosted by Government of Finland, South Africa, and UN Women. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women Michelle Bachelet, Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi, and other leaders will speak at the event. The discussion will be moderated by the Director-General of International Development Law Organization, Irene Khan. Participants are invited to make concrete commitments to action and highlight initiatives to address challenges in women's access to justice, for example in the areas of legal reform, women's rights and access to justice within traditional and informal justice systems, and in conflict and post-conflict contexts.

Venue: Ambassador's Riverview, UN Headquarters
Time: 1.15 - 2.45 p.m.
The event is by invitation only, and will be webcast. It is open to accredited media but seats are extremely limited. Please rsvp to media contacts by 21st September 10 a.m.

24th September

Implementation of the UN Secretary-General's Global Strategy for Women's and Children's Health- An Update on Progress: Advocacy event hosted by H4+ (UN Agencies working together to advance implementation of Reproductive, Maternal and Newborn Care). Discussions will highlight MDGs 4, 5, and 6, with a focus on maternal and newborn health, building momentum for accelerated country action in the critical three remaining years before the 2015 MDGs deadline. Speakers include: First Lady of the Republic of Zambia H.E. Christine Kaseba Sata; Executive Director of UNICEF Anthony Lake; Executive Director of UNFPA Babatunde Osotimehin; Executive Director of UN Women Michelle Bachelet; and others.

Venue: Labouisse Hall, UNICEF
Time: 8.30- 10.00 a.m.
The event is open to accredited media.

25th September

Preventing sexual and gender based crimes in conflict and securing justice for survivors: Panel event co-hosted by the United Kingdom Mission to the United Nations, UN Women, the International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict and the Office of the Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict. Speakers include: Nobel Peace Laureates Leymah Gbowee and Jody Williams; U.K. Foreign Minister William Hague; Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women Michelle Bachelet; and Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Zainab Bangura.

Venue: Conference Room 6, North Lawn Building, UN Headquarters, New York
Time: 11:15 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
The event is by invitation only, and will be webcast. It is open to accredited media but seats are extremely limited. Please rsvp to media contacts by 24th September.

27th September

Accelerating Progress toward the Economic Empowerment of Rural Women: Launch event co-hosted by UN Women, FAO, IFAD and WFP in partnership with the Governments of Brazil, Canada, Liberia and the Netherlands to highlight joint initiative to advance gender equality. The event will focus on a 5-year pilot programme of the four agencies to support rural women's economic empowerment and food security. President of Liberia Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Director General for International Cooperation of the Netherlands, Rob Swartbol, President of CIDA Margaret Biggs, United States Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues Melanne Verveer, and President of the Pan-African Farmers' Organization Elizabeth Atangana, amongst others will attend. UN Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet will introduce the joint programme. Panelists will include high-level government representatives, rural women's organizations and the private sector.

Venue :The Millennium UN Plaza Hotel, The Riverview Room, 28th floor, New York
Time: 1:00- 2:45 p.m.
The event is by invitation only and will be webcast. It is open to accredited media but seats are extremely limited. Please rsvp to media contacts by 25th September.

UN Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet will also participate at a number of other events during the UN General Assembly, including:

  • Equal Future Partnership Launch, Hosted by US Department of State- Office of Global Women's Issues, 24 September
  • Africa Business Investors Conference, Africa-America Institute, 27 September

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