Gender Equality, Empowerment of Women The Focus For UN Women

Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations Rosemary A. DiCarlo today said UN Women’s work is vital to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment

In her remarks at the UN Women Executive Board, Ms. DiCarlo said the United States places great importance on addressing and preventing discrimination against women and girls and promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment, through foreign policy and domestic initiatives.

“As President Obama said in his address to the General Assembly last fall, “No country can realize its potential if half its population cannot reach theirs.”

– Ms. DiCarlo

UN Women
Michelle Bachelet (left), Executive Director of UN Women, attends a celebration of International Women’s Day at Antoinette Tubman Stadium in Monrovia, Liberia, hosted by Liberian President Ellen JohnsonSirleaf (right).

Ms. DiCarlo believes that it is essential for the UN Women organization to set priorities and focus its efforts to produce measurable results quickly.

One key area where UN Women can do that is to focus on efforts to promote women’s political leadership and participation, particularly in states undergoing political transitions and emerging from conflict.

The stakes could not be higher, nor the issue more timely. Ms. DiCarlo gave the example of the Middle East and North Africa, as countries are beginning their transition to democracy, steps must be taken to ensure women are not excluded or persecuted.

“As Secretary Clinton said last month in releasing the United States’ National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security, a new democracy “cannot be built on the persecution of women, nor can any stable society.”

– Ms. DiCarlo

President Obama has challenged all states to announce within one year the steps they are taking to break down the economic and political barriers to women’s progress.

The first bill President Obama signed when he came into office was legislation to restore basic protections for women against pay discrimination. The United States is also working to secure affordable and accessible health care for America’s women.

“Initiatives to address violence against women are another important focus for the United States.”

– Ms. DiCarlo

Executive Director Bachelet gave briefing on UN Women’s operational activities. Ms. DiCarlo says the breadth of UN Women’s written report on its activities underscores both the complexity of the challenges confronting women worldwide, and the extent of UN Women’s operations.

“We also would like to applaud some key results UN Women has achieved to date. For example, women make up 33.5 percent of the South Sudan Legislative Assembly, reflecting UN Women’s work to support the South Sudan Elections Committee.”

– Ms. DiCarlo

In the Caribbean, UN Women supports a regional NGO whose mission is to increase women’s political participation throughout the area. A recent election in Trinidad and Tobago resulted in the election of the first female Prime Minister. This lays the groundwork for the rise of future female political leaders in the region.

“UN Women’s work with MINUSTAH, the Government of Haiti, and Haitian civil society to promote the inclusion and participation of women in relief, recovery, and rebuilding in Haiti is another significant initiative.”

– Ms. DiCarlo

Ms. DiCarlo said the United States also welcomes UN Women’s emphasis on combating violence against women. “UN Women’s comprehensive approach to combating the problem is the right one.”

In July 2010, the United Nations General Assembly created UN Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women.

Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn’t preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.