UN Commission calls for increased gender equality

By on 13/04/2014
UN Photo by Albert González Farran

The 58th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women ended in New York with a strong call to prioritise gender equality and the human rights of women.

After two weeks of discussion, the Commission’s outcome document is expected to help shape priorities for the next global development framework.

The Agreed Conclusions lay out strong calls to governments to address women’s rights, particularly those of girls, so they can be “free from coercion, discrimination and violence.”

However, a minority of conservative governments held up negotiations throughout the fortnight, raising objections in basic areas such as the human rights of women. Equally, violations based on sexual orientation and gender equality – which it has been prohibited to discriminate against by the UN for 20 years – will not be recognised in the outcome document.

This is against a backdrop of new legislation under discussion in Iraq which would mean girls could be married at the age of nine. The same law would force them to comply with their husband’s sexual demands, putting Iraq in a similar position to Iran.

Meanwhile, new laws are being introduced in Uganda meaning that repeat homosexual “offenders” can be jailed for life, and requiring people to denounce gays and lesbians.

Despite concern in the international community over the legislation, South African president Jacob Zuma has said that he will “respect” Uganda’s decision and has no plans to oppose the law.

About Kevin Sorkin

Pendragon International Media publish www.globalgovernmentforum.com, a community of senior government officials around the world. Global Government Forum is an important international network focusing on impartial, government news, analysis and best practice. The content addresses the real issues facing senior leaders in public service policy and administration today and aims to support them in developing public services for the future. Our aim is to help all organisations engage with this important community by improving understanding and strengthening relationships. I am the founder of the Civil Service Awards and Civil Service Live, which are now established industry leading brands and extremely important events for government. I also launched and published Civil Service World, civilserviceworld.com and Civil Service World Research and Information bringing together the civil service community to enable communication, sharing of best practice, inspire and motivate the civil service community. Over the years I have established relationships with the most senior officials in government and the private sector and have built a very strong and positive reputation across the industry.

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