Strengthening women’s leadership and climate change top agenda of 66th Commission on the Status of Women – SABC News

The 66th session of the Commission on the Status of Women must agree on practical measures to strengthen women’s leadership in all areas, particularly in the context of climate change.

This was the opening message from South Africa’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Mathu Joyini, in her capacity as Session Chair for the next two years.

This year’s hybrid session of the UN’s largest gathering on women’s empowerment and gender equality is officially underway in the context of climate change, environmental and health risk reduction policies and programs. to disasters.

“This year’s priority theme could not have been more timely. Gender inequality, coupled with climate change, environmental degradation and disasters, is today’s greatest sustainable development challenge. Climate change, environmental and natural disasters have an impact on society as a whole. Environmental degradation and the negative impacts of climate change affect everyone, but particularly the poverty, health and livelihoods of women and girls. These impacts are strongest on rural and indigenous women and girls. Women and girls feel their effects disproportionately, especially those in vulnerable and marginalized situations and those living in conflict situations,” says Joyini.

Women’s participation is key to achieving the goals

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres echoed her sentiment, warning that climate change is exacerbating conflict around the world, and that this disproportionately affects women and girls.

António Guterres called again for gender equality to be at the heart of a renewed social contract, adapted to today’s societies and economies.

António Guterres also warned that the Paris Climate Agreement would not be achieved without the full and equal participation and leadership of women.

Meanwhile, the new UN Women Executive Director, Sima Bahous, has called on Member States to implement what has already been agreed and create gender action plans where gaps exist. .

SABC News correspondent Sherwin Bryce-Peace has more details:

Mara R. Wilmoth