Draft update of the UN Women Strategic Plan 2018-2021

From the Introduction:

  1. …Women and girls continue to face structural barriers, failures of governance, pervasive violence, including femicide, the targeted killing of women’s human rights defenders, harmful traditional practices and persistent discriminatory social norms and stereotypes that deny or restrict their social, economic, political and reproductive rights, as well as their sexual and reproductive health. Meanwhile, despite important gains in education, labour market prospects continue to be more unfavourable for young women than for young men virtually everywhere.
  2. No country has fully achieved gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. Challenges are often most pronounced for those facing multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination. Based on the current rate of progress, it will take 82 years to close the gender gap in political participation, 95 years to achieve gender parity in lower secondary education, and 170 years to close the economic gender gap.
  3. Moreover, gender equality also remains neglected in development assistance. Less than five percent of the OECD’s development assistance was dedicated to gender equality programmes in 2015.
  4. …Yet there has also been some marked progress. More women today lead businesses, governments and organizations, which drives improved performance. More laws and policies uphold the human rights of women and girls and sanction discrimination and violence against them. This progress demonstrates that trends can be broken and efforts accelerated to achieve gender equality and women’s empowerment.
  5. To this effect, UN-Women convenes State and non-State actors in support of gender equality and women’s empowerment, catalysing action and garnering the resources to achieve a Planet 50-50 by 2030.

This is said to be a big step forward for UN Women in that sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights are mentioned as critical issues many times in the document, even though no specific aspects, such as safe abortion or safe pregnancy, were named.

SOURCE: UN Women, 30 May 2017 for the Executive Board, 27-28 June 2017 ; PHOTO: Getty Images, 2016