06 March 2015
Excerpt from Statement by UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka at the High-level Thematic Debate on advancing gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, 6 March 2015 at UN Headquarters in New York.
We at UN Women are delighted that you are all here for this wonderful celebration of International Women’s Day. My thanks to the President of the General Assembly for this special event as well as for his unfailing support for the agenda for women. I also thank you all for this morning’s inspiring speeches.
We look ahead this year with excitement as we set our sights on the creation of a world with greater equality for generations to come. We are the first generation to have the possibility of an end to poverty and gender inequality.
As our Secretary-General has just said, we cannot successfully address sustainable development challenges if we constrain the potential of half the world’s population. We cannot win if we leave half of the team out of the game. That is why the Special Summit on Sustainable Development should adopt a bold agenda that fully values the role of women and girls. It must aim for significant progress by 2020 and gender equality before 2030.
So, how will we reach this ambitious goal of a transformed world with gender equality?
Let me suggest three vital requirements: tireless political will and unwavering leadership; increased investments in the agenda for women and girls; and strong accountability that includes a role for civil society.
- Gender equality is a shared vision of social justice and human rights.
- Women’s rights are human rights and human rights are women’s rights.
- In addition, we call for concerted, practical measures to implement the provisions of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, and to remove the root causes of gender inequality.
- To reach our ambitious goals in 2030 with substantive progress by 2020, we ask governments as our primary duty-bearers to:
- Repeal discriminatory laws that inhibit the economic ability of women, their ability to obtain credit and own land, to move freely, and to make decisions about their own bodies and health.
- Fully implement existing laws so that, for example, violence against women does not go unpunished……
You can read the full speech here.