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Monday, April 15, 2024

Munir Akram hopes women are never again “left behind”

According to Ambassador Munir Akram, women can only be empowered if they are encouraged to effectively participate in decision making in the public sphere and all forms of violence against them is stopped.

On March 15, Ambassador Munir Akram delivered a statement during the 65th Session of Commission on the Status of Women in his capacity as President of Economic and Social Council. The theme of the session was “Women’s effective participation in decision-making in public life and elimination of all forms of violence against them.”

The Ambassador, who is a Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations, stated that the theme of the conference is intrinsically linked with women’s empowerment in the social, political, economic, cultural and legal spheres.

“Despite considerable progress since the Beijing Conference, women’s voices often continue to be silenced and their participation in public life obstructed. Meanwhile, discrimination and violence against women remain pervasive,” Ambassador Munir Akram said.

“The serious and persistent obstacles which impede women’s empowerment include armed conflicts, foreign occupation, terrorism, natural disasters, pandemics, climate change, the feminization of poverty, discrimination and violence and the lack of equal access to health, education, training and employment,” he further added.

The need for urgent measures

Both developed and developing countries face these challenges in promoting gender equality. Neither sustainable development nor a peaceful and just world order can be achieved so long women continue to be repressed and marginalized. The Ambassador also stressed the need to take urgent measures by the Member States and the international community to ensure women empowerment as outlined in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

According to the Ambassador, it is essential for the member states to ensure effective and accelerated implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the fulfilment of the obligations under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women as well as commitments made in different United Nations Conventions, Conferences and Summits which are mutually reinforcing.

Read more: Scotland takes a heroic step towards women empowerment

To ensure women’s meaningful participation and eliminating violence against them, Ambassador Munir Akram believes the international community needs a new Global Compact for Women’s Empowerment based on an action plan for mainstreaming women’s participation in decision-making in public life and proposing concrete measures to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls.

He concluded the session by hoping that the international community would rise to the challenge and ensure that half of the world’s population is never again “left behind”.

On March 9, the Ambassador also attended a virtual High-Level Meeting on the Commemoration of the International Day for Women hosted by Saudi Arabia.

Read more: Munir Akram praises Saudi Arabia’s effort to promote women participation