Financing for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women
The United Nations Commission on the Status of women will consider the theme: “Financing for gender equality and the empowerment of women” at its 52nd session at United Nations Headquarters in New York from 25 February to 7 March 2008.
As part of efforts to increase its focus on national-level implementation, the Commission will return to this theme in two to three years time to review the implementation of the policy recommendations adopted and to identify remaining gaps and challenges.
The work in the Commission will be guided by two reports of the Secretary-General on the theme, one which will identify and discuss key issues in financing for gender equality and the empowerment of women and suggest policy recommendations; and a second which will provide an overview of mainstreaming efforts related to financing for gender equality and the empowerment of women at national level.
In the context of its new working methods, the Commission will begin its consideration of the issue of financing for gender equality and the empowerment of women through three interactive activities:
The key elements in the consideration of the issue of financing for gender equality and the empowerment of women in the Commission are: accelerating implementation of previous commitments at national level, including through sharing experiences, lessons learned and good practices; increasing attention to information and data needs; enhancing capacity to mainstream the issue; and identifying key policy initiatives to move implementation forward.
Following the interactive events in the first week of the Commission, Member States will negotiate the new policy recommendations (agreed conclusions) which are required to accelerate implementation of existing commitments, including those in the Beijing Platform for Action.
As part of preparations for the Commission, the Division
for the Advancement of Women will organize an Expert
Group Meeting on the theme to access the latest research and practical
experience on the theme. The Meeting will be a small working meeting of
approximately 12 experts from all regions of the world, appointed by the
Secretary-General, who in their capacity as independent experts prepare a
report with recommendations for action. It will be held in Oslo from 4-7
September 2007. A number of observers, including representatives of Member
States, UN entities, international organizations and NGOs will also attend, at
their own cost. The report of the experts and the papers prepared by individual
experts and observers will be widely disseminated (including through the
website of the Division for the Advancement of Women) and the report will be
made available at the Commission on the Status of Women. The findings of the
Meeting will also be presented at an interactive panel during the Commission.
Prior to the Expert Group Meeting, the Division for the Advancement of Women organized an on-line discussion on the theme, facilitated by an expert, from 18 June to 13 July 2007. The first three weeks were devoted to specific issues - public finance, bilateral and multilateral assistance; and funds and foundations. Issues that had not been addressed in the first three weeks were raised in the fourth week. The facilitator wrapped up the discussion at the end of the fourth week. A report will be prepared and widely disseminated.
A parallel event was organized on the theme during the recent 51st session of the Commission to support Member States and other stakeholders begin their preparations for the 52nd session. The expert panel focused on gender-sensitive budgeting efforts, bilateral development cooperation - from both donor and partner perspectives, loans, and funding for the women’s movement. An issues paper, the papers prepared by the panelists, and the summary of the discussion prepared by the Moderator, can all be found on the website of the Division for the Advancement of Women under the webpage for the 51st session of the CSW.
This is the first time that the Commission on the Status of Women has focused specifically on resources for gender equality and the empowerment of women as its priority theme although the issue of resources has been considered as a part of many of the other priority themes since the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995. The 52nd session provides a unique opportunity to identify and address critical issues related to resources for gender equality and the empowerment of women.
The large programme of parallel events or activities organized outside the formal programme of the Commission, provides an excellent opportunity to bring critical issues to the fore. The parliamentary meeting convened by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in the context of the Commission will focus on the priority theme. The Commission also provides an excellent opportunity to disseminate materials on the theme – either existing materials or new materials developed specifically for this occasion.
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