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Sunday, 18 February 2018

Women face ‘unprecedented’ obstacles to empowerment: UN

Ahram Online , Wednesday 14 Feb 2018
Women
File Photo: International Women's Day rally in Diyarbakir, Turkey, on March 8, 2017 (Photo: Reuters)
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UN Women warned on Sunday that women are facing an “unprecedented set of challenges” that negatively affects their empowerment.

In a report titled “Turning promises into action: Gender equality in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” the UN agency argued that “concrete evidence and data” shows the “pervasive nature of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere.” 

The report, which offered recommendations, said that women and girls represent 330 million of the poor in 89 countries, and that four women for every one man live on less than $1.90 a day. It also noted that this “gender gap” is particularly wide during the reproductive years.

The newly-issued document also stresses that more than 50 percent of urban women and girls in developing countries lack access to clean water, improved sanitation facilities, durable housing and sufficient living space.

Furthermore, during the last year, one in five women under the age of 50 experienced physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner.

UN Women also highlighted that poor rural women are affected by the depletion of 3.3 million hectares of forest areas between 2010 and 2015, as they depend on “common pool resources.”

“As a world, we are committed through the SDGs to leave no one behind. This report’s new data and analysis underlines that, unless progress on gender equality is significantly accelerated, the global community will not be able to keep its promise. This is an urgent signal for action, and the report recommends directions to follow,” UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka said while presenting the report in New York.

The report presented “wide-ranging recommendations” in four areas.

It called for “ensuring that those in power are held accountable for gender equality commitments,” to which a “vibrant civil society with a space to express itself” can contribute.

The reports also recommends that “more and better statistics” should be developed amid the “lack of timely and regular gender data” that can allow “adequate monitoring.”

The report says that there is also need to close “the financing gap to achieve a sustainable world” through addressing “illicit financial flows” in developing countries, “reversing the public expenditure cuts that erode safety nets and essential services” and “ using all strategies available for raising domestic revenues.”

Finally, these steps have to be accompanied with “integrated policies that can leverage synergies and help achieve goals at the same time.”

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