Minister of State Maria Böhmer met the new Executive Director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, at the Federal Foreign Office on Wednesday (10 June). Speaking after their meeting, Böhmer said, “I thank UN Women for the outstanding work it does to promote global standards and economic empowerment for women.”
Minister of State Böhmer described 2015 as the year of women, pointing out that “we can look back on 20 years of the Beijing Platform for Action promoting gender equality and supporting women’s rights”. She herself was present at the UN Conference in Beijing where it was established. Böhmer went on to say, however, that she was also looking to the future. The aims of the Platform for Action, she said, had to be integrated into the Post‑2015 Agenda in such a way as to achieve true gender equality in all areas of society – in Germany and around the world. In Böhmer’s words, that would be a milestone.
UN Resolution on women, peace and security
Minister of State Böhmer continued as follows:
Fifteen years ago, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security. The resolution calls for women to be actively integrated into processes of conflict prevention and conflict management and for women and girls to be protected from sexual violence in armed conflicts. In view of the current proliferation of crises, that resolution has lost none of its relevance. It must remain our guide as we engage with foreign affairs. More than anything else, we need to breathe new life into it and drive its implementation forward!
Women’s empowerment as a G7 issue
Women’s empowerment was also on the agenda at the G7 Summit in Elmau headed by Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel. The heads of state and government agreed to promote women’s entrepreneurial autonomy by improving their access to finance, markets, skills, leadership opportunities and networks. That endeavour will include supporting vocational training for women from developing countries. By 2030, the number of women receiving vocational training is to be increased by one third.
Minister of State Böhmer commented:
We have achieved a lot together in recent decades. Nonetheless, there is still a long way to go, and we can only succeed by taking action at both the national and the international levels. I therefore welcome the G7 Forum for Dialogue with Women which the German G7 Presidency is to hold in Berlin, at the invitation of the Federal Chancellor, on 16-17 September 2015.