Saturday, October 03, 2009

Update on new UN Super - agency for women - GEAR campaign

Women from around the world have successfully campaigned for a stronger better resourced agency on gender equality and women’s empowerment, and can look forward to its creation early in 2010.

However if it is to succeed UN Member States will certainly have to show a degree of commitment to gender equality issues beyond that which they expressed in the opening session of the 64th Session of the General Assembly.

Of the 191 Member States and 2 Observer Missions that made statements in the General Debate, a mere 49 made any mention at all of women, girls, gender or related terms. And that of course says nothing of the low number who said anything of any substance in support of gender equality goals. There were countries like Estonia who rightly noted that: “no security, development or human-rights related goal can be achieved without the full participation of women.”

Unfortunately not many saw things that way. UN The Secretary-General had one rather irrelevant sentence on the matter and the President of the General Assembly and the representative of the African Union said nothing at all. Interestingly, most of those who addressed gender equality addressed women, peace and security issues. There were several mentions of sexual violence in conflict and of the then still anticipated new Security Council resolution on women, peace and security 1888 which was subsequently adopted on 30 September 2009.

There are many details to work out and much work to be done to ensure the new super-agency for women is effective in serving the world's women. One of the critical steps will be proper funding, another will be the appointment of the Under-Secretary General to head the entity –Also significant will be the commitment by Member States of the resources to ensure the entities success.
1325 PEACEWOMEN E-NEWS Issue 111 September 2009

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