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Asia-Pacific countries commit to empower rural women and girls at high-level UN forum

Ministers and senior government representatives from Asia and the Pacific have committed to ensuring greater empowerment of rural women and girls to improve their standard of living, food security and livelihoods.

16/03/2018

The pledge was made at the regional consultation for the 62nd session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW62) held last month in Bangkok. 

Rural women and girls continue to face structural barriers that impact their human rights and prevent them from achieving their full potential. Achieving adequate living standards, women’s economic empowerment, land rights, food security, health care, quality education, resilience and preparedness to deal with disasters and conflicts are among the main challenges faced by rural women and girls in Asia-Pacific. 

In her opening statement, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) Dr. Shamshad Akhtar stressed “if we do not take concrete actions we risk leaving rural women and girls behind.”

”Development which does not empower rural women and girls is antithetical to a rights-based approach enshrined in the 2030 Agenda,” said Dr. Akhtar. “We must work together to create an enabling environment which supports women and girls in rural areas of Asia and the Pacific to unfold their full potential as powerful agents of change.”

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