Press release: Governments commit to scale-up investments in women’s empowerment

UN Commission on the Status of Women adopts declaration to accelerate action on 20th anniversary of Beijing World Conference on Women.

Date: 09 March 2015

New York—Government ministers and representatives today issued a political declaration with actions to achieve gender equality and women’s empowerment by 2030, including through significantly increased investment to close existing wide shortfalls.

Member States issued a political declaration at the opening of the 59th Commission on the Status of Women on 9 March. Photo: UN Women/J. Carrier
Member States issued a political declaration at the opening of the 59th Commission on the Status of Women on 9 March. Photo: UN Women/J. Carrier.

Issued during the 59th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women, the political declaration marks the 20th anniversary of the 1995 Beijing World Conference on Women and its landmark Platform for Action.

Governments pledged to take concrete action and efforts through six specific strategies: do more to strengthen implementation of laws; 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 political declaration highlights UN Women’s central role in rallying countries, the UN system, civil society, businesses and others around the common goal of gender equality.

It also emphasizes the essential roles of men and boys, and the contributions of civil society.

Also expressed was concern with the slow and uneven rate of progress since the Platform for Action detailed comprehensive commitments on 12 issues critical to gender equality. The global review, detailed in a report by the UN Secretary-General refers to areas of stagnation and regression. It is based on national reviews conducted by an unprecedented 167 countries, drawing on rich consultations from governments and civil society.

While 189 countries endorsed the Platform for Action, 20 years later, no country has achieved gender equality. At the current pace of change, it will take 81 years to achieve gender parity in economic participation, for example, and 50 years to reach parity in parliamentary representation.

In adopting the political declaration, Member States agreed that full, effective and accelerated implementation of the Platform for Action will be essential to the post-2015 sustainable development agenda. Expected to encapsulate all major issues of global progress for the next 15 years, the agenda is expected to be adopted by Heads of State and Government from every part of the world at a historic summit in September 2015.

“The disappointing gap between existing commitments and their implementation points to a collective failure of leadership,” says UN Under-Secretary-General and UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. “The declaration says we will not continue to let down the women and girls of the world. It is time to step up commitment and action.”

She adds, “By 2030 at the latest, we want to live in a world where women are equal. Real progress requires a Planet 50-50.”

Read the political declaration.

Read the Secretary-General’s report.

Learn more about the Commission on the Status of Women.

 

Media contacts:

Oisika Chakrabarti, Ph: +1 646 781-4522; Email: oisika.chakrabarti[at]unwomen.org

Sharon Grobeisen, Ph: +1 646 781-4753; Email: sharon.grobeisen[at]unwomen