International Women’s Day

The priorities established by the 65th Commission on the Status of Women

The 65th Commission on the Status of Women that took place in March had the goal to discuss the effective participation of women in the decision-making processes and the elimination of violence for gender equality and empowerment of women and girls

Date: Wednesday, April 7, 2021

The Commission took some positive steps, amongst others points, it:

• Recognized that imbalances of power between women and men in all spheres of society

• Called on states to protect and promote the right to freedom of opinion and expression and women's equal rights to engage in political activities, and public life as a whole, to ensure women of all ages, without discrimination of any kind, fully, equally and meaningfully participate at all levels of decision-making and in all sectors, including through political parties and civil society, women's and youth-led organisations, free from violence and harassment, including bullying or threats;

• Recognized that temporary special measures, including quotas, substantially contributed to increasing women’s representation in national and local legislatures, and called on governments to set specific targets and timelines to achieve gender balance in executive, legislative and judicial branches of at all levels and in all areas, through relevant measures, such as affirmative actions, appropriate temporary special measures, inter alia quotas

• Encouraged the implementation of measures and mechanisms, including appropriate mechanisms to track progress, to achieve the goal of 50/50 gender balance at all levels of elected positions;

• Recognized the growing impact of violence against women in public life especially in digital contexts, such as cyberstalking, cyberbullying, and the lack of preventive measures, and remedies, underline the need for action by Member States in partnership with other stakeholders.

• Called on states to ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights, in accordance with the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and the Beijing Platform for Action and the outcome documents of their review conferences, including for family planning, information and education and the integration of reproductive health into national strategies and programmes, and recognized that the human rights of women include their right to have control over and decide freely and responsibly on all matters related to their sexuality.

• Called on states to review and reform laws and policies that discriminate against women and girls • Called on states to promote the active and meaningful participation of women and girls living with, at risk of, or affected by HIV and AIDS on matters that affect their lives, and eliminate discrimination and violence against them

• Called for the use of gender mainstreaming strategies to accelerate the implementation of legislation and public and fiscal policies, including, through gender-responsive budgeting for the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls

• Underlined the role that women and their organizations, and girl- and youth-led organizations, are playing in decision-making process, policies and institutions at all levels, and called for them to be able to do so fully, safely and actively

• Recognized the important role of women in the prevention and resolution of armed conflicts and in peacebuilding and, in this regard, stresses the importance of the full, effective and meaningful participation of women, including by increasing their role in peace processes, as well as in decision-making in efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security