U.S. Counselor for Economic and Social Affairs Courtney Nemroff today stressed that women’s political participation produces significant benefits for their communities and can bolster the development, economic prosperity, and stability of their nations.
In her remarks for draft resolution A/C.3/66/L.20 entitled Women and Political Participation under Agenda Item 28(a) Advancement of Women, Ms. Nemroff stressed that the resolution deals with an area in which women’s empowerment has become increasingly critical: women’s full political participation.
“The need for proactive measures to ensure that women enjoy their right to participate on an equal basis with men in political processes and decision-making has become increasingly evident, especially during times of transition. The resolution I am introducing today applies broadly to women everywhere, but also draws attention in a few key paragraphs to such situations of countries in transitions.” -Ms. Nemroff
She noted that across the globe, women’s voices in political decision-making are still muted. She said discriminatory laws and practices persist.
“Recently, after taking – sometimes great – risks to call for an end to repression and to advocate for democracy in a number of countries undergoing political transitions, women activists often now face exclusion from key political negotiations.” -Ms. Nemroff
She underscored that in light of these worldwide challenges, the United States has introduced a resolution to underline the need to ensure women’s involvement in all aspects of political processes and decision-making. The resolution reaffirms and builds upon the pioneering UN General Assembly resolution 58/142 from 2003. She emphasized that the new resolution begins by acknowledging key international human rights instruments to underscore their applicability to the issue of women’s political participation. She said tt also recognizes the important contributions women have made in many countries toward achieving representative, transparent and accountable governments.
“The new resolution stresses the importance of women’s political participation in all contexts, including during times of peace, conflict, and all stages of political transition. The resolution expresses concern at the obstacles to women’s political participation on an equal basis with men and notes the opportunity that situations of political transition create for addressing those obstacles.” -Ms. Nemroff
She highlighted that the resolution also reaffirms the important role of women in resolving conflicts and in peacebuilding, as stated in Security Council resolution 1325.
She said the resolution notes that, throughout the world, discrimination and poverty can marginalize women, and that the active, equal participation of women is essential to achieve sustainable development and democracy. She said it highlights the importance of education, training and skills development, so that women can actively contribute fully to society and the political process.
“This resolution speaks to women, and on behalf of women, in all parts of the world. We are thankful to the countries, from all regions, that have already shown their support for this effort by signing on as co-sponsors, and we welcome more co-sponsors. We will be holding informal consultations with all member states to reach a consensus text that we hope will have broad and vigorous support.” -Ms. Nemroff