IPPF is pleased to welcome a successful outcome from the Commission on the Status of Women at its 63rd Session this year, focusing on “Social Protection, Access to Public Services, and Sustainable Infrastructure for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women and Girls.” The Agreed Conclusions provide vital guidance on the role that social protection, public services and sustainable infrastructure can have in dismantling unequal systems of power that disadvantage women and girls.
Taking on the topic for the first time, Member States emphasized that social protection, public services and sustainable infrastructure are interlinked and mutually reinforcing; stressed the need for coordinated approaches, financing and policy coherence; and requested the revision of cash transfer conditionalities that reinforce gender stereotypes. They urged a comprehensive, integrated approach to ensure gender-responsive policy-making, specifically calling for gender-responsive migration policies, social protection floors, accountability mechanisms for social protection, public services and sustainable infrastructure projects, and strategies to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
Furthermore, Member States recognized that health disparities, including reproductive health and inadequate access to family planning services, are exacerbated by multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination and urged governments to ensure acceptable, accessible, available and quality health care services. As in past years, the Commission reaffirmed the need for governments to ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights and the human rights of women including the right to have control over and decide freely on all matters relating to their sexuality. The Agreed Conclusions also reaffirmed prior agreements on education, gender-based violence, the need for policies that address the diverse needs of families, as well as the responsibility of the state to protect women human rights defenders.
We congratulate the Member States for finding common ground on critical issues and demonstrating the continued critical importance of the Commission on the Status of Women and defending and advancing women and girls’ rights year after year, despite particularly aggressive strategies this by some groups attempting to chip away at established rights for women and girls. IPPF is committed to remaining a strong partner in protecting and promoting women and girls’ rights and we look forward to the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action in 2020.