Status of Women and Girls Review

The United Nations Millennium Development Goal will not be achieved for women and girls unless discriminatory provisions are removed, women’s access to justice is guaranteed and discriminatory social norms and stereotypes are transformed. These are the challenges that face the members of UN Commission on the Status of Women who come together this week to attend it’s 58th Sessional meeting in New York. Together they will review progress in access and participation of women and girls in education, training, science and technology and they will make an assessment of women’s equal access to full employment and decent work as well as their access to productive resources. Other important task of the Commission at this session is to evaluate progress and failure in mainstreaming gender perspective into development implementation and evaluation of national policies and programs. They will continue to work till the end of the session on the 21st of March. While the Millennium Development Goals were intended to be a global set of goals, it is important to remember that the implementations of the framework has taken place largely at the national level. Country reports have shown that there are some innovations, but there are also some limitations in many areas. For examples: report on gender and poverty focused mainly on female-headed households but do not say anything about gender inequalities in terms of income and consumption within households. And very few countries reported on the gender dimension of nutrition, water, sanitation and the environment. Even when legal frameworks have been strengthened laws are often poorly implemented which limits women’s access to justice. Reports have also indicated that persistence of deeply entrenched discriminatory social norms, stereotypes and practices that hold back progress on gender equality remain a significant challenge.

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