24 March 2014 - Christian Aid welcomes the UN Women's Commission on the Status of Women's (CSW) clear, unequivocal support for a standalone goal to address gender inequality within the post-2015 agenda.
The need for such a goal was one of the conclusions reached by delegates at the CSW from governments worldwide following two weeks of discussions on the challenges and successes of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Helen Dennis, Christian Aid's Senior Adviser on Poverty and Inequality said: 'A standalone goal for gender equality in the post-2015 targets to follow the MDGs was Christian Aid's primary ask. We greatly welcome the CSW's clear message to member states for the root causes of gender equality to be addressed in the new goals through a standalone goal.
'Although this is a good step forward, it is important to note that the negotiations on the new goals to reduce global poverty, which will follow the MDGs, will not reach their conclusion until September 2015 and the standalone goal is yet to be agreed by world leaders.
'Christian Aid is now calling on the members of the Open Working Group on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which followed the Rio+20 climate change and sustainable energy negotiations, to respond to the wishes of the Commission in the continuation of their work.
‘Getting the recommendations right and addressing the root causes of poverty, such as challenging damaging social norms that perpetuate gender inequality, is absolutely essential if we want to stamp it out and eradicate poverty.’
Christian Aid also welcomes the Commission's strong endorsement of a rights-based approach to development as well as recognising the need to tackle women’s vulnerability to climate change and disasters, to eliminate violence against women and girls, female genital mutilation (FGM) and early and forced marriage.
The conclusions also recognise women and girls' economic empowerment, education, health and recognition of unpaid care and domestic work as all being necessary for fully realising women’s human rights. Critically, the Commission also called for the gap in global data depicting how women are affected by these issues to be filled.
Ms Dennis said: 'Although the Commission has reflected on the challenges of the MDGs to achieve progress on issues including violence against women and girls, which is fantastic news, it didn't make any specific recommendation for targets on such topics for the post-2015 agenda.
‘We would want any future targets to clearly reflect learning from the MDGs, such as including specific ones to address violence against women and girls and harmful practices such as early and forced marriage.'
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Notes to editors:
1. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in around 50 countries at any one time. We act where there is great need, regardless of religion, helping people to live a full life, free from poverty. We provide urgent, practical and effective assistance in tackling the root causes of poverty as well as its effects.
2. Christian Aid’s core belief is that the world can and must be changed so that poverty is ended: this is what we stand for. Everything we do is about ending poverty and injustice: swiftly, effectively, sustainably. Our strategy document Partnership for Change www.christianaid.org.uk/images/partnership-for-change-summary.pdf explains how we set about this task.
3. Christian Aid is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of more than 130 churches and church-related organisations that work together in humanitarian assistance, advocacy and development. Further details at http://actalliance.org
4. Follow Christian Aid's newswire on Twitter: http://twitter.com/caid_newswire
5. For more information about the work of Christian Aid visit http://www.christianaid.org.uk