UN Women report “Progress of the World’s Women 2015-2016: Transforming Economies, Realizing Rights” have been launched on 27 April in London, New York, Mexico City, Nairobi, Bangkok, Alexandria and Sydney and unveils far-reaching alternative policy agenda to transform economies and make gender equality a reality.
The report is being published as the international community comes together to define a transformative new agenda for sustainable development, 20 years after the landmark Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China, which set out an ambitious agenda to advance gender equality.
Since the Beijing Conference, significant advances have been made by many societies, particularly in advancing women’s legal rights. However, as Progress shows, in an era of unprecedented global wealth, millions of women are still consigned to work in low paid, poor quality jobs, denied even basic levels of health care, without access to clean water and decent sanitation. Women still carry the burden of unpaid care work, which austerity policies and cutbacks have only intensified. To build fairer, more sustainable economies which work for women and men, a future comprising more of the same will no longer do.
In its key recommendations, Progress underlines that with the right mix of economic and social policies, governments can generate decent jobs for women (and men) and ensure that the unpaid care work that goes into sustaining all economies is recognized and supported. Well-designed social services (e.g. health, care services) and social protection measures (e.g. pensions) can enhance women’s income security, from birth to old age, and enhance their capacity to seize economic opportunities and expand their life options.
Women’s economic and social rights – the right to a decent job, to health care and a life free from violence and discrimination – are guaranteed in human rights treaties, which almost all governments in the world have signed. Governments are ultimately responsible for delivering these rights, but they cannot do it alone. International financial institutions and the private sector are among the key players that shape the economy. They all need to be held accountable by civil society and the public, to play their part.
Soruce: UN Women – Press Release (London, 27 April, 2015)