RIO +20 agreements to benefit women
2 Jul 2012
"Women are satisfied that, following tough and robust engagements, State parties managed to reach agreements that will impact positively on society’s most vulnerable groups, particularly women and women with disabilities. Rio +20 reaffirmed the vital role as well as full and equal participation by women and their leadership roles in all areas of sustainable development.
The conference also took a decision to accelerate the implementation of the respective commitments on sustainable development as contained in the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) as well as Agenda 21, Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action as well as the Millennium Declaration.
State parties recognised that although progress on gender equality has been made in some areas, the potential for women to engage in and contribute to and benefit from sustainable development as leaders, participants and agents of change has not been fully realised. This is due to persistent social, economic and political inequalities. It was, therefore, agreed to prioritise measures to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in all spheres of society, including removal of barriers.
The conference addressed the contentious issue of sexual and reproductive rights that impacts mostly on women. Recognition of the sexual and reproductive rights of women is at the heart of gender equality and women empowerment. In this regard, we urge member states to adopt national legislation and policies to secure, protect and promote women’s human rights.
The conference also resolved to unlock women’s potential as drivers of sustainable development including through the repeal of discriminatory laws, harmful practices that act as barriers to gender equality and women’s empowerment. Member states are committed to creating an enabling environment to create the situation of women and girls in rural areas and local communities. It was resolved to undertake legislation and administrative reforms to ensure equal rights for women with regard to economic resources.
We strongly support the mainstreaming of women, youth and children, in all thematic areas of sustainable development. To this end South Africa encourages member states to effect the mainstreaming of gender issues into their National Strategies and Action Plans.
We continue to call upon all state parties to eradicate all barriers to information and training, and ensure promotion of projects in the green economy as a resource for women and youth. We insist that women must be the main beneficiaries of the envisaged Green Fund. It is critical to ensure that national budgets are engendered. Women insist on being having representation in the Committee that will deal with the Green Climate Fund. Women want full mainstreaming of their issues in all sustainable development planning and policy considerations.
Women across the world acknowledge the tremendous progress made in the mainstreaming of gender issues in global sustainable development since 1992. Yet, we are still of the firm view that more can still be done in this area. Rio +20 represents a decisive step forward in our collective advance towards sustainable development within the context of women empowerment and gender equality."
Cornelius Tanana Monama
Tel: 012 359 022
Cell: 082 578 4063
Fax: 086 554 0931
BBM Pin: 27C5DAD4
Issued by: Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities
2 Jul 2012
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