Asia-Pacific countries commit to achieving gender equality and empowering rural women

Bangladesh Md. Khalid Rayhan Shawon

23 February 2018 – Bangkok, Thailand – Ministers and senior government representatives from Asia and the Pacific, gathered at the regional consultation of the 62nd session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW62), committed to ensuring greater empowerment of rural women and girls to improve their standards of living, food security and livelihoods. 

The meeting on achieving gender equality recognized that rural women and girls continue to face structural barriers that impact their human rights and prevent them from reaching their full potential. Achieving adequate living standards, women’s economic empowerment, land rights, food security, health care, quality education, resilience and preparedness to deal with disasters and conflicts are among the main challenges faced by rural women and girls in Asia and the Pacific.  

The meeting has adopted a set of recommendations that will feed into CSW62 – the leading intergovernmental body dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women worldwide – to be held at the UN Headquarters in New York from 12 to 23 March 2018.

The recommendations reflect the urgent need to strengthen normative and legal frameworks, ensuring coordinated action for the social and economic empowerment and meaningful participation of rural women and girls in society. Delegates further highlighted the importance of establishing innovative financing models and enhancing access to ICT and other technologies. They also stressed the need for improved availability of data and gender statistics to enhance evidence-based policy making.

The meeting was organized by UNESCAP, the UN Women Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, and the FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, in collaboration with the World Food Programme (WFP) Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific and other members of the Asia-Pacific UN Regional Coordination Mechanism Thematic Working Group on Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women (TWG-GEEW).

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