14 March 2016, New York – European Union intervention delivered by Vera Jourova, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, at the 60th United Nations Commission on the Status of Women Ministerial round table B ‘Strengthening normative, legal and policy frameworks for gender equality and women’s empowerment’
The EU promotes gender equality through a mix of legislation, policy measures and funding. We can be proud of the work we have done with Member States, with civil society and of the progress we have made.
Women and girls in the EU seize the opportunities and benefits of education and participation in the labour market, but they also face headwinds, gaps and inequalities.
If gender equality is not yet a reality in the EU after years of commitment and common work, can we make it happen at global level? Progress made in the EU shows that it is possible but that we need a strong boost: this is what the renewed commitment to the Beijing Platform and the new 2030 Agenda gives us. In that respect, the EU is looking forward to strong outcome documents from this CSW session.
The Beijing Platform and the 2030 Agenda are mutually supportive and equally important: our task at this CSW and beyond is to define the synergies and coherence between the two.
EU history shows that legislation is necessary: equality between man and woman is enshrined in the EU Treaty and this has been the starting point for all our work. The EU strongly supports a human rights-based approach in the implementation of the 2030 agenda and all other commitments.
Our task is also to make sure that all available regional and international instruments are used to achieve gender equality. This includes the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention). We call upon all countries that have not yet done so to sign, ratify and fully implement the Convention: this is a necessary step.
But legislation alone is not enough. We need sound implementation, we need to remove cultural and traditional barriers, we need to fight stereotypes, we need to create and support structures for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. This includes the meaningful engagement of men and boys to advance gender inequality, including with a view to addressing harmful conceptions of masculinity and gender relations.
Key to this success will be the full, active and strong involvement of gender equality units and civil society organisations in the implementation and monitoring of the 2030 Agenda.
We call for a systematic sex-disaggregation of all indicators of the 2030 Agenda: we want to know if the health of women and girls, men and boys is improving; we want to know how hunger is affecting boys and girls; we need to make visible the millions of women that carry water to their home.
We also call for strong commitment by all countries for sound surveys to monitor one of the most widespread violations of human rights: violence against women and girls. Building on the work done at UN level and on the Council of Europe Istanbul Convention, the EU is taking steps towards a regular, EU–wide survey on gender based-violence. We are looking forward to sharing this experience with other partner countries.
EU source: European Union
UN forum: ECOSOC
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