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Outcome of the 8th session of the UN OWG


The Open Working Group met for the 8th time for a session in New York from 3 to 7 February to discuss oceans and seas, forests, biodiversity; promoting equality, including social equity, gender equality and women’s empowerment and conflict prevention, post-conflict peacebuilding and the promotion of durable peace, rule of law and governance.

The “Co-Chairs’ Summary bullet points for OWG-8” on gender equality and women’s empowerment includes the following points:

  • Concerns were voiced by many about the wide and in some respects widening inequalities in the world, both within and between countries, which pose a risk to social cohesion.
  • Experience shows that political space for inequality reduction can be created.
  • Inequality can be addressed through affordable access to quality education, social protection, health care, as well as productive and remunerative employment opportunities. Policies supportive of entrepreneurship and small – scale enterprises can also enhance opportunities for the poor, including poor women.
  • Social equity requires that vulnerable groups obtain equitable access to opportunities, basic services and participation in social, economic and political life. In this regard, persons living with disabilities merit particular attention.
  • Gender equality was affirmed as an end in itself and as an essential means for sustainable development and poverty eradication. There can be no sustainable development without gender equality and the full participation of women and girls. Gender inequality is the mostpervasive form of inequality in the world.
  • There was widespread support for a stand-alone goal on gender equality, supplemented by cross-cutting targets under other goals.
  • Gender equality, women’s rights, and women’s empowerment in the SDGs must be aligned with CEDAW, the Beijing Platform for Action, the ICPD, and the Rio+20 outcome document.
  • Many expressed broad support for a number of priority actions, including: preventing and eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls; empowering women legally and economically; and strengthening women’s voice, participation in decision-making and leadership in all areas of life.
  • The recognition, reduction, and redistribution of unpaid care and domestic work, disproportionately borne by women and girls, was also recognized as an area for action.
  • Many of you referred to the need to respect and fulfil the sexual and reproductive health and rights of all individuals, including access to sexual and reproductive health information, education, and services. Others referred to the need to be consistent in this regard with theICPD agreement.

For more information on the work of UN Open Working Group please click here.

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