The Nordiskt Forum – New Action on Women’s Rights
Closing speech by UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka at the Nordiskt Forum on 15 June, 2014, in Malmö, Sweden.
16 June 2014
[Check against delivery]
First of all let me say thank you to the
Nordic Ministers and to Nordic civil society. This has been a very important and
We all need to work together and stay strong for women’s
rights, women’s empowerment and gender equality. We need to push for women’s
full and equal participation in leadership, political representation and
Beijing+20 is our time to create high level political
energy and public attention to women’s and girls’ rights and gender equality and
to make much greater progress. We cannot take for granted hard won gains. There
is backlash and regression so we need to stay strong and expand our circles of
friends and allies!
At UN Women our goals are to:
renewed political will and commitment,
• enhance social mobilization and
• revitalize public debates,
• strengthen the
evidence base, and
• increase action and funding!
UN Women stands
ready to support all the Member States to ensure that women and men are equal
partners and beneficiaries in sustainable development.
We are working
with all partners in ongoing national, regional and global preparations for
Beijing+20 culminating in the 59th session of the Commission on the Status of
Women, in March 2015.
UN Women has made a strong case and will continue
to push for addressing the structural barriers to gender equality as priorities
for the post-2015 development agenda.
We will continue to push for
strong goals and targets to address issues such as:
disproportionate share of unpaid care work,
• violence against women and
• sexual and reproductive health and rights and
• women’s access
to productive resources.
We will continue to push for a gender data
revolution and increased investment in this important area.
continue to push for a transformative agenda that is rights-based and inclusive
to achieve equality for women and girls.
We will continue to push for
stronger action to challenge the culture of acceptability and impunity around
discrimination and violence against women that we see in every region of the
Promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment is a matter of
The protection of women’s rights, including sexual and
reproductive rights, is a fundamental condition for sustainable development, and
peace and justice.
The realization of women’s human rights is critical
to achieving progress in all 12 areas of concern of the Beijing Platform for
The ability to have a voice and participate in decision-making in
all spheres of life is essential to women’s and girls’ freedoms.
cannot allow the excuses of tradition, culture or religion to be used to trample
on the human rights of girls and women. And we can no longer allow the historic
under-investment in women and girls to continue.
is costing us in lives lost and human suffering. And it is costing us billions
and billions of dollars, euros and every other currency in lost productivity,
lost opportunity, and lost prospects for peace, justice and sustainable
Violence against women alone is estimated to cost between
1.5 and 2 per cent of national Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
We need to
step up financing for gender equality.
We need full financing to
implement the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination
against Women and the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action to achieve
strong results for and with women and girls.
This Nordic Forum paves the way
forward. And I thank all of you, the Nordic governments and people for your
strong support of UN Women, women’s rights and gender equality. Forward ever,
Together we can make the 21st century the century to
achieve equality between men and women.