World leaders accused of backtracking on gender equality commitments
| By Liz Ford
Final negotiations at Commission on the Status of Women punctuated by claims some governments are trying to dilute finance for equality and sexual pledges.
Claims that world leaders are backtracking on their commitment to end gender inequality have emerged on the final day of negotiations at the Commission on the Status of Women.
Several countries are reportedly trying to water down the progressive language on financing for gender equality and sexual and reproductive health rights contained in the draft text of the outcome document.
Governments are understood to be unwilling to agree commitments on targeted funding for gender equality, getting corporations to pay their fair share of tax, and creating a better environment for women’s rights organisations to operate, which would include more funding.
The work of local women’s groups is regarded as the most likely to bring long-term change in their communities and nationally.
This year’s CSW was seen as the first major barometer of leaders’ appetite to implement the sustainable development goals, adopted by the UN general assembly in September. The SDGs are regarded as the roadmap for ending poverty and inequality, and conserving the environment over the next 15 years.
Goal five commits governments to achieve gender equality and empower women and girls, with specific targets to end violence and harmful practices, recognise the unpaid care work that falls disproportionately on women, get more women into leadership positions, and ensure women can uphold their reproductive rights.