Beirut, 26 September 2019 (ESCWA)--About 50 Arab and global experts concluded today at ESCWA discussions of a regional report on progress made by Arab countries in the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, which will be launched on 28 November.
The meeting was organized by ESCWA in partnership with the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women), the League of Arab States (LAS) and the Arab Women Organization (AWO).
“ESCWA has adopted a participatory and inclusive approach for the regional review, and 20 countries submitted national reports that fed into the Beijing +25 regional report reviewed today,” said the Director of ESCWA Centre for Women, Ms. Mehrinaz El Awady, in her opening remarks.
“We hope that today’s meeting will result in an agreement on the final version of the regional report and in recommendations that will help shape a unified Arab position at the meeting of 28 November 2019,” she added. The outcome will be presented at the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in March 2020.
The Acting Regional Director of UN-Women, Ms. Janneke Kukler, saw that there had been progress in legislations adopted to advance women’s economic empowerment and end discrimination and violence against them, but that change remained slow.
In fact, statistics show that one in five women in the region contributes to the labour market, which is the lowest rate globally, compared with one in two women on average worldwide.
In turn, the representative of LAS, Ms. Shaza Abdul Latif, noted the high level of participation in the preparation of the Beijing +25 regional report, despite adverse circumstances in the region. “The report is worth reading,” she said, “because it focuses on areas of vulnerability to identify priorities”.
According to the report, despite cultural barriers to efforts to protect women and girls from violence, Arab States have made significant progress in amending or introducing legal systems and policies that eliminate discrimination against women, protect women and girls from violence and address gender-based social stereotyping.
For her part, the representative of AWO, Ms. Mona Kassem, highlighted the joint efforts exerted to put together the Beijing +25 regional report. She stressed the importance of conducting constructive review, replicating success stories and undertaking impartial analysis of gaps and challenges.
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