Virtual Townhall Meeting of Civil Society & UN Sec.-Gen. : March 16, 10:15 – 11:15
Women in power and decision-making, Human rights of women, Education and training of women, Violence against women, Women and health, Women and armed conflict, Women and the media
SDG 10 – Reduced Inequality, SDG16 – Peace and Justice Strong Institutions
Bullying (2016), Harassment (2016)
It was an opportunity too hear the Secretary-General and his vision and plan moving forward.
The Secretary- General glanced at the last year and what it has meant for women's rights and gender equality. The social and economic impact of COVID-19 has been devastating for women's rights, especially for the most vulnerable and marginalised.UNICEF reported recently that 10 million girls are at risk of becoming child brides. Gender based violence has increased enormously and much is at home or online. There is a huge gender gap in the task forces the are meant to be building the recovery. Male- dominated these will come up with male-dominated solutions. Se need to take this opportunity to re-set. The Spotlight initiative too eliminate all forms of violence against women can provide a new model at all levels of government and civil society. Women need to be front and centre. Gender equality is a question of power. We still live in a male dominated world with a male-dominated culture. We need many women leaders – a few are not enough. Women and girls should be central to all future planning. The COVID crisis has created an opportunity. Leaders need to take 5 affirmative actions to build women's representation, participation, and leadership: #1. Recognise women's rights by repealing all discriminatory laws and enacting positive measures. #2. take concrete steps including measures like quotas so women have equal representation everywhere. #3. support women's economic inclusion by encouraging them in the work force with equal jobs and equal pay and protect their jobs with equal access to credit and social protection. $4. Ask all countries to address violence against women and girls by funding and political will. #5. Make space for inter-generational transition.
The reset of the session was left to questions and answers but his vision and actions going forward were encouraging.
Members need to think in the broader picture and link up with allies to address the incredible challenges that lie ahead for women yet we have a talented and energetic younger generation with whom to work.

It is hard to see for the grass routes but networks will be important as will be our own roles to encourage and support girl’s education how we can and where we can.

Author: Hally Siddons

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