UN Women

After two weeks of deliberation, the 63rd Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW) concluded Friday in New York.

It ended with a strong commitment by UN Member States to safeguard and improve women’s and girls’ access to social protection systems, public services and sustainable infrastructure.

Commitments were also made to ensure that the design and delivery of infrastructure are transformed to prevent discrimination and create a level playing field for women and girls.

The Executive Director of UN Women, which serves as the CSW Secretariat, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, said: “This annual gathering has never been bigger nor more significant for the women and girls of the world.

“The Commission’s recommendations pave the way for governments to engage and invest differently; involving women in policy dialogue, and targeting initiatives that go to the heart of the largest barriers to the empowerment and voice of women and girls.”

The ‘Agreed Conclusions’, which is the outcome of the 63rd UNCSW, adopted by Member States, addressed measures to increase the voice, agency and leadership of women and girls as beneficiaries and users of social protection systems, public services and sustainable infrastructure.

The key recommendations in the Agreed Conclusions include: Invest in social protection, public services and sustainable infrastructure to support the productivity of women’s work, including in the informal economy.

Member States are also to ensure that progress in women’s access to social protection, public services and sustainable infrastructure was not undermined by budget cuts and austerity measures, and levels of protection previously achieved are not reversed.

They also agreed to build on multilateral commitments to gender equality, including the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the ILO Social Protection Recommendation, 2012.

As the single largest forum on gender equality and women’s rights for UN Member States, civil society organizations and other international actors, the 2019 UNCSW saw a record number of attendances.

Over 5000 representatives from civil society organisations around the world, nearly 2,000 Member State delegates and 86 ministers attended.

The Nigerian delegation was headed by the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajia Aisha Abubakar.

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