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Achieving An Equal Future For Women In Asia And The Pacific In The Post-COVID-19 Era


A dialogue among women leaders in the Asia-Pacific region
to mark International Women’s Day (IWD) 2021 highlighted
the need for Governments to continue their efforts to
promote and ensure equal participation and representation of
women in decision-making in the region.

Held under the
IWD 2021 theme, ‘Women in leadership: Achieving an equal
future in a COVID-19 world,’ the event
organized by the United Nations Economic
and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and
the UN Women Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (ROAP)
provided a virtual platform to share experiences, and
recognize the tremendous efforts by women and girls in the
region in shaping an equal recovery from COVID-19.

A
joint report launched at today’s event by ESCAP and UN
Women The Long Road to Equality: Taking stock of the
situation of women and girls in Asia and the Pacific for
Beijing+25: A synthesis report,
shows that, although
levels of women’s representation in the region have
increased, uneven progress, both within countries and
regionally, indicates that achieving gender equality in
decision-making is a significant challenge in Asia and the
Pacific.

“Without the active participation of women
and the incorporation of women’s perspectives at all
levels of decision making, the goals of equality,
development and peace cannot be achieved,” said United
Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of
ESCAP, Ms. Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana. “Within the context
of COVID-19, it is now more important than ever to transform
discriminatory gender-based social norms, legal frameworks
and institutional structures.”

“The
effective representation of women in public life and
decision-making needs to be recognized, not only as being of
intrinsic value, but also as the primary way through which
decisions, institutions and financing will become
gender-responsive,” said United Nations
Assistant-Secretary-General and UN Women Deputy Executive
Director, Anita Bhatia.

Ms. Smriti Irani,
Minister for Women and Child Development, India, stated that
India regards women-led development as pivotal for
socio-economic progress. The Honorable Prime Minister, Mr.
Narendra Modi’s vision of a self-reliant India, an
‘Atmanirbhar’ India, is imbued with the belief that
women are key agents for achieving transformational change
that is essential for sustainable development.

Ms.
B.Battsetseg, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mongolia, noted
that throughout history, women in Mongolia had held a higher
social status and a legacy as leaders compared to the rest
of the world. She further underscored that an enabling legal
environment, changing societal stereotyping, access to equal
opportunities, and increasing women’s participation at the
decision-making level is crucial to achieving gender
equality and women empowerment.

This year’s IWD
theme echoes the priority theme of the upcoming 65th session
of the Commission on the Status of Women, ‘Women’s full
and effective participation and decision-making in public
life, as well as the elimination of violence, for achieving
gender equality and the empowerment of all women and
girls,’ and the flagship Generation Equality
campaign.

Participants at the regional event included
representatives of Governments, the diplomatic community,
the UN system, other international organizations, civil
society organizations, academia, and youth
groups.

© Scoop Media

 



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