Asia-Pacific countries unite for women empowerment at UN forum

rural Rural women face more difficulties in accessing productive resources, public services and social protection. (Image source: Michael Foley/Flickr)The pledge was made at the regional consultation for the 62nd session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW62) held in Bangkok

Ministers and senior government representatives from Asia-Pacific on Friday committed to ensuring greater empowerment of rural women and girls to improve their standard of living, food security and livelihoods. 

Achieving adequate living standards, economic empowerment, land rights, food security, health care, quality education, resilience and preparedness to deal with disasters and conflicts are among the main challenges faced by rural women and girls in Asia-Pacific. The ‘Asia-Pacific Regional High-Level Meeting for CSW62: Challenges and Opportunities in Achieving Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Rural Women and Girls’ adopted a set of recommendations that will feed into CSW62 - the leading inter-governmental body dedicated exclusively to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women worldwide – to be held at the UN Headquarters in New York from 12- 23 March 2018.

The recommendations reflect the urgent need to strengthen normative and legal frameworks, and ensure coordinated action for the social and economic empowerment and meaningful participation of rural women and girls in society. Delegates further highlighted the importance of establishing innovative financing models and enhancing access to ICT and other technologies. They also stressed the need for improved availability of data and gender statistics to enhance evidence-based policy making.

UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) Dr Shamshad Akhtar said, “We must work together to create an enabling environment which supports women and girls in rural areas of Asia and the Pacific to unfold their full potential as powerful agents of change.”

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