Excellencies, friends, partners and colleagues around the world,
Today, we celebrate International Women’s Day, under the theme “Equality Today for a Sustainable Tomorrow.” So, we are here renewing our commitment for advancing gender equality, women’s empowerment, and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
As we are collectively working hard towards achieving gender equality, crises around the world confront us with the harsh reality of how fragile these developments are.
As we saw with the situation in Afghanistan and currently with the tragedy unfolding in the Ukraine, hard-won developmental gains are on the verge of slipping away. Something we cannot afford.
Even with the challenges that women face to raise their voice during crisis, they are still actively demanding and fighting for their right to peace, inclusion and a safe environment.
UNDP is working with national and regional human rights mechanisms to provide legal frameworks and strengthen accountability mechanisms to deal with these injustices and protect their rights.
For example, in Armenia, UNDP is supporting the NHRI and the Parliament in addressing the issue of violence against women under the COVID-19 lockdown context.
Evidence, has shown us that women’s empowerment in justice and transitional justice actually led to more peaceful societies for all, not just for women- as we will see from the report which we will present today.
But to have real transformational changes women don’t only need a seat at the table but we need their voices to be heard to influence and lead the way to more just and inclusive processes.
A good example is the “African Young Women Leaders Fellowship Program” supported by the African Union Commission (AUC) and UNDP, to equip outstanding young African women leaders with leadership skills and experience to contribute effectively to decision making in public, private and multilateral institutions.
UNDP is committed to women´s empowerment and leadership and is pleased to present today two important contributions of our work towards this:
Firstly the launch of the Gender Justice Platform. This space under the umbrella of the Global Focal Point for the Rule of Law, is designed to support countries to drive forward transformational change in crisis contexts specially focused on women, and vulnerable and marginalized groups. This support will be provided through strategic knowledge, smart programming and support to enabling legal frameworks. Through joint collaboration, UNDP and UN Women will implement new ways of working based on strong partnerships with UN agencies, civil society, and external partners. Today, we will have a look into the next stage of this commitment and reflect on how the Gender Justice Platform can upscale this collaboration.
Secondly, the publication of the report “Women’s Meaningful Participation in Transitional Justice: Advancing Gender Equality and Building Sustainable Peace”. This report highlights the importance of women’s meaningful participation in transitional justice processes as an essential element of a human rights-based approach. It also provides key lessons and recommendations for UN policy and programming to promote women leadership in transitional justice with case studies from Guatemala, Sri Lanka, The Gambia, Tunisia and others. Today main takeaways of the report will be presented followed by experiences from Mali, Colombia and the State of Palestine on gender sensitive transitional justice and access to justice initiatives, through the support of the platform.
I want to take the time to express my deepest appreciation to Members States for supporting UNDP’s Global Programme for Rule of Law, Human Rights, Justice and Security for Sustainable Peace and Development, and the Global Focal Point for the Rule of Law. And today we are especially grateful to the Government of The Netherlands for their essential contribution which allow us to launch the Gender Justice Platform.
We have had very positive results under the first phase of the gender justice partnership with UN Women. For example in Mali, South Sudan and Tunisia, more than 3,500 women accessed justice through national transitional justice processes. During the first year of our partnership, we were able to support women and girls in 14 conflict-affected countries.
I will finalize by expressing that UNDP is committed to work towards achieving gender equality and women´s participation. We are soon to launch the new UNDP Gender Equality Strategy with UNDP´s priorities for the next four years to achieve gender equality.
Also, under the new Gender and Crisis Engagement Facility is providing dedicated funding and expertise to support countries to drive forward transformational change in crisis contexts, focusing on women’s leadership, economic empowerment, human rights and access to justice.
And from today, our Gender Justice Platform will provide top notch partners and networks to support countries to put women and girls – their inclusion, representation, rights, and protection – at the center of all efforts.
We look forward to engaging with interested donors who would like to join and champion this new platform.
I hope that you have a fruitful conversation today on where we are standing and what the strategic steps to continue entail.