Saturday, Jun 6 2020 | Time 17:01 Hrs(IST)
  • Five storey building caves in Shimla, no loss of life
  • COVID-19: Iran reports 2,269 new cases; 169,425 in total
  • nCoV: Bangladesh registers 35 more deaths, toll reaches 846
  • Properties of 38 drug smugglers to be seized: SSP
  • Koderma DC plays Good Samaritan to 5 orphans
  • Opposition leaders to call on Central team visiting Amphan ravaged districts of Bengal
  • Terming ‘Demonetisation 2 0’, Rahul criticises Govt for ‘destroying economy’
  • Passport office Srinagar to resume services from Mon with adherence to SOPs by applicants
  • India vs Qatar 2022 FIFA WC qualifying match rescheduled to Oct 8
  • COVID-19: 90 new cases in Mah's Aurangabad
  • Allow smooth transportation of cherry crop to outside mandis: CPI (M)
  • 147 new coronavirus cases detected, tally reaches to 4745
  • Coal India Arm Western Coalfields opens 3 new coal mines
  • Qatar completes third 2022 FIFA World Cup stadium
  • TN govt to bear higher education expenses of Madurai saloon owner's daughter
Features


Women at helm of every UN Regional Commission

Women at helm of every UN Regional Commission

United Nations, Apr 28 (UNI) Although United Nations Regional Commissions have been in existence for more than 70 years, for the first time ever, each one is currently headed by a woman designated by Secretary-General António Guterres.

This accomplishment underscores that, since the day he took office, the UN chief has been determined to achieve gender parity by 2030 as part of the Agenda for Sustainable Development.

UN News spoke to some of these women leaders, about the steps being taken to make Sustainable Development Goal 5 (SDG 5), on women’s empowerment, a reality.

Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary for the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, known as ECLAC, detailed some of the battles her region faces, such as slow economic growth, high debt, a deterioration in quality employment and increased poverty.

She sees these “long-term challenges” as threats to gender equality, such as “gender gaps in labor markets, the overload of women's unpaid work, their limited access to credit and productive assets, and women lacking their own income”.

At the same time, incorporating technological change “raises new questions about its disruptive effects on societies and especially on gender equality”.

Ms Bárcena pointed out that although their political participation across the region has risen steadily over the past few decades, women only hold 30 per cent of seats in the region’s parliaments, which is far below the parity-based target.

“There is an urgent need to remove the key barriers hindering women’s participation in order to generate the conditions for the full exercise of women's citizenship and autonomy in decision-making”, she stated. “To do so, it is important to achieve parity in the distribution of power, resources and time”.

Proudly, she said that under her leadership, ECLAC has achieved gender balance among in senior management, adding “and I am now progressively pushing forward for achieving a similar balance at other levels”.

Oľga Algayerová, Executive Secretary for the Economic Commission for Europe, called UNECE, told UN News that by appointing women as UN Regional Commission heads, the Secretary-General is making “a clear call” to ensure that gender parity is “a reality in our regional organisations”.

“In the UNECE region, the political and economic landscape now looks far more balanced than it did some decades ago”, she asserted.

Ms Algayerová explained that as a women leader, she is especially sensitive to women’s situations and needs. And as such, she can be more persistent in searching for gender-responsive solutions and broad-based decisions “in consultations with women’s groups” and others.

“I am often approached by women of different ages from civil societies, academia and governments, and I listen to their concerns”, she said.

“Gender equality and the empowerment of women has always been very dear to my heart”, she continued. “In all my previous positions which I have held both in my country, Slovakia, and abroad, I have been a strong advocate for gender equality”.

According to the ECE chief, meeting SDG5 means: ending all forms of violence and discrimination against women and girls; valuing unpaid care and domestic work; and ensuring decent work for all.

“It is a gigantic task, requiring urgent action and pooling all resources to eliminate the root causes of gender inequalities”, she argued. To address this, Ms Algayerová flagged the need to measure inequalities and provide data to identify what drives gender gaps and why imbalances persist in all spheres of life at country, regional and community levels.

“Only policies based on empirical evidences can be effective instruments to tackle the multifaceted forms of gender inequalities” she concluded.

For her part, Armida Alisjahbana, Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, or ESCAP, told UN News that while “significant progress” has been made in her region, economic and social inequalities persist.

“Growing disparities in income and wealth disproportionately affect women, especially those in vulnerable situations”, she said, pointing out that “for every 10 men who are in employment, there are only six women working”.

What’s more, she lamented, “women are over-represented in low-paying jobs, with little social protection provisions” and “have less access than men to financial services and productive assets, including land, capital, and information technologies”.

On the political front, Ms Alisjahbana said that women’s representation in Asia and the Pacific continues to be low in comparison with other regions of the world.

“As of 2018, the proportion of seats held by women in the national parliaments is 18 per cent, while the global average is 24 per cent”, she stated.

“Addressing such gaps is not only a matter of attaining fundamental rights for women, but also critical to the inclusive economic growth and sustainable development of the region as a whole” Ms Alisjahbana stressed.

Rola Dashti, Executive Secretary of Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), shared with UN News her view that leadership is “not a privilege” but a “responsibility with accountability”.

Woman or man, an “all-weather leader” must work “in a responsible, efficient and effective manner to achieve the desirable goals”, she believes.

Ms Dashti expressed pride in that she could be “a good example” of women’s ability to “carry out substantive tasks and achieve the mission assigned”.

Against the backdrop of an Arab region embroiled in conflicts, war, displacement and grave economic and environment crises, the ESCWA chief said this situation aggravates the already “complicated task” of meeting SDG5.

She painted a picture of the existing problems facing women, “such as domestic and sexual violence; unemployment; and discrimination in public office” and recommended, “within the few years remaining until 2030”, as “the best course of action”, to “identify common priority areas” across Arab countries to help implement responses at the regional level that would “benefit all”.

She assured that ESCWA places women's issues “at the forefront of its work” and underlined that “despite gender stereotypes and cultural barriers”, the aspirations of women and girls “are attainable” with “self-recognition, confidence and perseverance”.

“To every woman and girl, she concluded by saying: “Your horizon is your dream!”

Although UN News was unable to arrange an interview with Vera Songwe, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), prior to publication, it is clear that she too is committed to the Secretary-General’s 2030 Agenda and working tirelessly in support of gender equality on the continent.

UNi XC-SNU 1409

More News
'Peepal 918': A symbol of Indo-Pak bonhomie at Jammu’s border village

'Peepal 918': A symbol of Indo-Pak bonhomie at Jammu’s border village

26 Nov 2019 | 6:33 PM

By Vishal Bharti
Octroi Post (Suchetgarh), Nov 26 (UNI) Decades of ‘sweet and sour’ relations have gone by but ‘Peepal 918’—located at ‘No Man’s Land’ still stands tall as a symbol of peace and bonhomie between India and Pakistan along International Border here, some 30-kilometres from Jammu City.

see more..
Poverty, urbanization, climate change and poor eating choices driving unhealthy diets

Poverty, urbanization, climate change and poor eating choices driving unhealthy diets

20 Oct 2019 | 2:38 PM

Kolkata, Oct 20 (UNI) An alarmingly number of children are suffering the consequences of poor diets and a food system that is failing them, UNICEF warned in a new report on children, food and nutrition.

see more..
Food consumption patterns in India reveal that child diets are largely starved of proteins and micronutrients

Food consumption patterns in India reveal that child diets are largely starved of proteins and micronutrients

17 Oct 2019 | 1:23 PM

Kolkata, Oct 17 (UNI) A report released recently by Comprehensive National Nutrition Survey (CNNS), sponsored by UNESCO, shows that in India 35 per cent of children under five are stunted, 17 per cent are wasted and 33 per cent are underweight.

see more..
Green Gurukulam: Atypical school

Green Gurukulam: Atypical school

12 Oct 2019 | 3:29 PM

By Radhika Tiwari
New Delhi, Oct 12 (UNI) Can schools ever be imagined without a curriculum, classrooms and textbooks?
I reckon, not.

see more..
Tourist hotspot Al Badayer Oasis welcomes guests in UAE

Tourist hotspot Al Badayer Oasis welcomes guests in UAE

08 Oct 2019 | 3:45 PM

Sharjah, Oct 8 (UNI) Nature lovers and adventure seekers looking for a true taste of the Emirati lifestyle don’t have to look any further.

see more..