ARROW’s Statement at the CSW65 General Discussion

March 31, 2021 siva at csw65

ARROW was selected to deliver an oral statement at the Commission on the Status of Women, Sixty-fifth session (CSW65) – Introduction, action, conclusion and opening of the 66th session. Watch the oral statement here.

Gender equality is indispensable for realizing the Sustainable Development Goals and other existing commitments including the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. However, in Asia and the Pacific, deep rooted gender inequality, which is further reinforced by the COVID-19 pandemic, in addition to discriminatory sociocultural norms, underpin structures and systems.

We welcome the theme of the 65th Session of the Commission and reiterate that women’s full and effective participation and decision-making in public life is crucial for gender equality. However, women’s full participation in public life in Asia and the Pacific is far from being realised. The percentage of ministerial roles held by women in the region has only increased from 8% in 2001 to 12% in 2019 and these numbers have little or no representation of women from marginalised communities.

Gender equality continues to be threatened by multi-dimensional factors arising from but not limited to poverty, lack of food security, climate change related disasters and conflict. Intersecting inequalities and vulnerabilities adversely affect women and girls’ access to sexual and reproductive health and rights.  The pandemic crisis has exacerbated gender-based violence and long-standing issues arising from gender inequality.

We therefore call on the States to take the following key actions:

  1. Ensure an intersectional feminist approach to strengthen the foundation of sustainable development. Guarantee civic space and protect women human rights defenders.
  2. Address all barriers that prevent gender parity in leadership to ensure women’s effective participation and representation.
  3. Repeal laws and policies that discriminate against women and girls. Formulate and implement progressive laws and policies to address sexual and gender-based violence and harmful practices and beliefs including female genital mutilation/ cutting.
  4. Address barriers against women’s economic participation through social protection, freedom from violence and right to association in the formal and informal economy.
  5. Promote and protect women’s ownership of land and natural resources.
  6. Ensure sexual and reproductive health and rights for all through progressive policies and laws and by addressing need of contraception, ensuring access to safe abortion as part of the universal health coverage that is acceptable, affordable, accessible and of high-quality.

Endorsing organisations:

  1. Bahaghari Metro Manila, Philippines
  2. Bandhu Social Welfare Bangladesh
  3. Bargad Organization for Youth Development, Pakistan
  4. Beyond Beijing Committee, Nepal
  5. Blue Veins, Pakistan
  6. Center for Creative Initiatives in Health and Population (CCIHP), Vietnam
  7. Centre for Social Policy Development Pakistan
  8. CommonHealth, India
  9. Family Planning Organization of the Philippines (FPOP)
  10. Green Circle Organisation, Pakistan
  11. Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC), Philippines
  12. Justice for Sisters, Malaysia
  13. Komuniti Muslim Universal (KMU MALAYSIA)
  14. Local Environment Development and Agricultural Research Society (LEDARS), Bangladesh
  15. Naripokkho, Bangladesh
  16. Orchid Project
  17. Pamfelt Generasi, Indonesia
  18. Participatory Research Action Network (PRAN), Bangladesh
  19. Perkumpulan Keluarga Berencana Indonesia (PKBI)
  20. PRAVAH, India
  21. Reproductive Health Association of Cambodia (RHAC)
  22. Reproductive Rights Advocacy Alliance Malaysia (RRAAM)
  23. Rural Development Foundation (RDF), Pakistan
  24. Rutgers WPF Indonesia
  25. SAHAYOG, India
  26. Sahiyo, United States
  27. Shelter Participatory Organization (SPO), Pakistan
  28. The Enlight Lab, Pakistan
  29. Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights (WGNRR) Africa
  30. Women with Disabilities in Development Foundation (WDDF), Bangladesh
  31. Yayasan Kesehatan Perempuan (YKP), Indonesia
  32. Youth Advocacy Network (YAN) Pakistan
  33. Youth Advocacy Network Sri Lanka (YANSL)
  34. Youth Association for Development (YAD) Pakistan
  35. YUWA, Nepal
  36. Centre for Communication and Development of Bangladesh
  37. Green Lotus Myanmar
  38. Puskagenseks UI, Indonesia
  39. SAHAJ, India

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