UN General Assembly 3rd Committee discusses women’s role in development


IISD - Post-2015 Policy and Practice

14 October 2013

The UN General Assembly's (UNGA) Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian, and Cultural) discussed the advancement of women in the post-2015 development agenda. Member States called for a "stand-alone goal on gender equality and empowerment," while emphasizing women's important role in development, on 11 October 2013, at UN Headquarters in New York, US.

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women, presented the UN Secretary-General's report on the improvement of the situation of women in rural areas. She spoke of the need for women's full participation in social, political, and economic life. “We need to put the rights of women and girls at the centre of strategies to fight poverty and to advance peace and security and sustainable development,” Mlambo-Ngcuka said.

Nicole Ameline, Chair of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, highlighted the importance of the universal Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), calling it an instrument linking women's rights and development.

These presentations were followed by general debate among Member States on the advancement of women. Speakers addressed: the need to prevent violence against women and girls; sexual and reproductive rights; decent employment for women; and women's empowerment as a prerequisite for sustainable development. Countries called for a holistic and coordinated approach to these issues in the post-2015 agenda.

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