By Ndidi Chukwu
“Equality” is the word the world needs in order for humanity to prosper.
It is 20 years after World Leaders, 1995, at the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, committed to a future where women are equal. The hopes of the World Women to see a different World where women are not marginalized dimmed 10 years after Beijing, 2005, as the well-defined path towards equality, and firm commitments at the highest level in 1995 was not reached by countries.
With One hundred and eighty nine countries and 4,000 civil society organizations, in attendance, promises remained unfulfilled, “not too many has changed” said UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcukca.
She said “Implementation of good policies has been patchy” especially in developing countries where allocation of the resources needed for effective implementation has been insufficient to fund women’s ministries, gender commissions, gender focal points, and gender-responsive budgeting.
“Today, not one single country has achieved equality. It is more urgent than ever that we define – and stick to – a time frame” Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcukca said
Women want their leaders to renew the promises made to them. They want leaders to re commit to the Beijing Declaration, to the Platform for Action, and to have accelerated and bolder implementation. They also want more of their leaders to be women. And they want those women, together with men, to dare to “change the economic and political paradigms”. “Gender parity must be reached before 2030, so that we avert the sluggish trajectory of progress that condemns a child born today to wait 80 years before they see an equal world” optimistic Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcukca said at the International Women’s Day Conference, which called on countries to “step it up” for gender equality.
“With substantive progress by 2020. Our aim is to reach ‘Planet 50:50’ before 2030, if you Empower women, empower humanity. I am sure you can picture an equal world” Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcukca told participants. They however observed some slow and uneven progress in the last 20 years, After 1995, Countries have narrowed the gender gap in education and some have even reached gender parity in school enrolment. Some have also reduced the toll of maternal mortality and morbidity. Many more women survive pregnancy and childbirth.
With current institutions addressing gender inequality with laws against gender-based discrimination, and making domestic Violence a crime, in some countries, Developing countries, predominately African regions still have ” women giving 70 per cent of crop production with 2 per cent of land ownership”
Their call is directed to the world that Women need change and humanity needs change. “This we can do together; women and girls, men and boys, young and old, rich and poor” said a press statement made available to Health Reporters. Women empowerment could trigger Economic growth, alleviate poverty, improve health status of nations, and communities could become more stable and resilient to environmental or humanitarian crises.