Youth Delegates to the 56th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women pose with UN Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet during an orientation session held at the Salvation Army, Saturday February 26, 2012.
This orientation, part of the NGO CSW Forum Consultation Day, is to prepare participants for the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) meetings (27 February – 9 March, 2012).
To improve the conditions of girls in rural areas, we urge Member States to:
PROMOTE A HUMAN RIGHTS-BASED APPROACH TO GENDER EQUALITY Strengthen the implementation of all existing commitments, in particular the provisions of the CRC, CEDAW (including Article 14 on rural girls/women) and the goals of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, in particular Section L. We strongly support the development of a joint General Resolution/Comment on harmful practices affecting girls to help fulfill obligations under CEDAW/CRC and ongoing monitoring on the implementation of these noteworthy treaties.
SUPPORT ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT VIA EQUAL ACCESS TO ECONOMIC RESOURCES Fulfillment of human rights is a precondition for girls to successfully transition to adulthood and to become empowered both economically and socially. Barriers to the full enjoyment of their rights persist in practice (e.g., gender stereotypes, patriarchal attitudes and discriminatory practices within families, communities and institutions) and in law (e.g., land, property, inheritance rights) and must be removed with urgency. Legislative and administrative reforms must promote the economic empowerment of girls through policies, strategies and programs that ensure equal access to education at all levels, physical and mental health services, employment opportunities and economic resources, including the right to inheritance and to ownership of land and other property, credit, natural resources and appropriate technologies. Positive employment opportunities for girls in rural areas must be expanded.
INTENSIFY EFFORTS TO REDUCE POVERTY AND ECONOMIC INEQUALITY The feminization of poverty requires investing sufficient resources for gender equality and the empowerment of girls, taking into account the diversity of needs between those in urban and rural areas. Promoting gender equality and empowerment within rural communities helps to reduce poverty, hunger, disease, environmental degradation and violence. We urge greater investment in rural development and agriculture, labour-saving technology, and clean and renewable energy in rural communities.
INVEST IN QUALITY EDUCATION AND TRAINING Investment in quality education and training in rural areas, including vocational and literacy training, is a central intervention with strong multiplier effects. Comprehensive national education strategies must include long-term funding that ensures adequate education infrastructure and prioritizes girls’ education in all development plans and poverty reduction plans.
IMPROVE DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS Effective policies and programmes for girls’ empowerment and rural development will require strengthening countries’ capacity to collect and analyse data that are disaggregated by sex and age, as well as by rural and urban populations. Examples of good practices and lessons learned in promoting gender equality and girls’ empowerment in rural areas should be compiled and shared, with a view to replicating and scaling up successes.
LAUNCH PUBLIC CAMPAIGNS TO CREATE AWARENESS Public campaigns are vital to eliminate discrimination in the public and private spheres based on the notion of girls’ inferiority and support positive attitudes and behaviors that encourage girls’ full partnership in all areas of life. Campaigns must utilize the media and address the active role of men and boys by establishing gender equality and emphasizing the societal benefits for all of girls’ empowerment. Studies also indicate that gender biases and stereo- types are influenced by parents, school, the media, and reinforced by the peer group.
A wide view of the General Assembly as Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro (on screens) addresses the opening of the fifty-fifth session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz
Have you attended the UN’s Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) as a student or youth delegate?
Did your experience at CSW inspire you to
share the stories you heard with others
act differently with your friends or in your community
or to find a way to respond to the issues affecting women and girls in your area or around the world?
For this year’s 56th CSW, we want to hear from YOU.
The power of the CSW can be found not only in the resolutions and discussions amongst governments and international leaders, but also in the localized actions carried out by CSW participants in their own lives, communities, and nations. This year the Loretto Community, along with the Working Group on Girls (WGG) is planning an event that will share the stories of past CSW youth participants and the ways in which they have sought to initiate change for women and girls because of their previous experiences at the CSW. One way we hope to do this is through a video compilation of stories of youth from around the world who have found unique and creative ways, both large and small, to bring the CSW home and continue to affect the lives of women and girls.
Download a flyer with more information!(Flyers are available in English, French and Spanish)