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:
- Ensure an intersectional feminist approach to strengthen the foundation of sustainable development. Guarantee civic space and protect women human rights defenders.
- Address all barriers that prevent gender parity in leadership to ensure women’s effective participation and representation.
- 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.
- Address barriers against women’s economic participation through social protection, freedom from violence and right to association in the formal and informal economy.
- Promote and protect women’s ownership of land and natural resources.
- 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.
- Bahaghari Metro Manila, Philippines
- Bandhu Social Welfare Bangladesh
- Bargad Organization for Youth Development, Pakistan
- Beyond Beijing Committee, Nepal
- Blue Veins, Pakistan
- Center for Creative Initiatives in Health and Population (CCIHP), Vietnam
- Centre for Social Policy Development Pakistan
- CommonHealth, India
- Family Planning Organization of the Philippines (FPOP)
- Green Circle Organisation, Pakistan
- Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC), Philippines
- Justice for Sisters, Malaysia
- Komuniti Muslim Universal (KMU MALAYSIA)
- Local Environment Development and Agricultural Research Society (LEDARS), Bangladesh
- Naripokkho, Bangladesh
- Orchid Project
- Pamfelt Generasi, Indonesia
- Participatory Research Action Network (PRAN), Bangladesh
- Perkumpulan Keluarga Berencana Indonesia (PKBI)
- PRAVAH, India
- Reproductive Health Association of Cambodia (RHAC)
- Reproductive Rights Advocacy Alliance Malaysia (RRAAM)
- Rural Development Foundation (RDF), Pakistan
- Rutgers WPF Indonesia
- SAHAYOG, India
- Sahiyo, United States
- Shelter Participatory Organization (SPO), Pakistan
- The Enlight Lab, Pakistan
- Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights (WGNRR) Africa
- Women with Disabilities in Development Foundation (WDDF), Bangladesh
- Yayasan Kesehatan Perempuan (YKP), Indonesia
- Youth Advocacy Network (YAN) Pakistan
- Youth Advocacy Network Sri Lanka (YANSL)
- Youth Association for Development (YAD) Pakistan
- YUWA, Nepal
- Centre for Communication and Development of Bangladesh
- Green Lotus Myanmar
- Puskagenseks UI, Indonesia
- SAHAJ, India