Arab States agree on priorities for the advancement of women’s empowerment in the region, ahead of global meeting

Date: Monday, March 15, 2021

Originally published on UN Women's regional for the Arab States and North Africa region

Online Arab regional preparatory meeting for CSW65. Photo: UN Women.

On 10 February, Ministers and women´s authorities’ representing Member States of the League of Arab States, participated in the Arab Regional Preparatory Meeting for the 65th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW65).

Hosted by the Republic of Djibouti and the League of Arab States (LAS), with support from UN Women Regional Office for the Arab States (ROAS), the consultation brought together ministers and government officials from the region to discuss and agree on a common position for the upcoming CSW65, to be held from 15 – 26 March, in a hybrid format with mostly virtual meetings.

The event was kicked off with opening remarks by Ms. Haifa Abu-Ghazaleh, Assistant Secretary-General and Head of the Social Affairs Sector of the League of Arab States, Ms. Moumina Houmed Hassan, Minister for Women and Family - Republic of Djibouti, Ms. Hala Altuwaijri, Secretary-General of the Family Affairs Council of Saudi Arabia and Mrs. Susanne Mikhail Eldhagen, Regional Director of UN Women Regional Office for the Arab States.

The meeting highlighted how the COVID-19 pandemic has had negative humanitarian, social, economic, health and psychological impacts, particularly for women and girls in the region and stressed how these negative repercussions have exacerbated the gender inequality gap at regional and international levels.

In the outcome declaration of the meeting, member states agreed on a common regional position outlining the following priority areas: 

  1. Ending all forms of violence against women and girls
  2. Providing social protection for women
  3. Access to health services during the COVID-19 pandemic
  4. Moving forward with the implementation of Women, Peace, and Security Agenda
  5. Follow up on the recommendations of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)
  6. Enhancing women's political participation in the Arab region
  7. Advancing women's economic conditions and combating the feminization of poverty for comprehensive and sustainable development

Read the full text of the Arab Declaration here.

About CSW

The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is the main global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women. The CSW is instrumental in promoting women’s rights, documenting the reality of women’s lives throughout the world, and shaping global standards on gender equality and the empowerment of women.