Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and Women’s Minister Franziska Giffey on the cancellation of this year’s session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women

08.03.2020 - Press release

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and Women’s Minister Dr Franziska Giffey issued the following statement today (8 March) on the cancellation of this year’s session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women:

We very much regret that the session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) will not take place. Particularly in this anniversary year – 2020 marks the 25th anniversary of the Platform for Action adopted by consensus by the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing – it was our hope and wish that this year’s CSW would send a clear sign in support of significant progress on gender equality and thus against curtailments of women’s rights. Unfortunately, we note that there is currently no global consensus on issues concerning gender equality and women’s rights.

That is why we will continue to make clear, independently of the CSW, that the German Government actively strives to achieve gender equality in order to achieve improvements. Women worldwide are at greater risk of poverty even if they perform paid work. They also carry the main burden as regards combining work and family life. They are under-represented in leadership roles in politics and business. And they are far more often affected by sexual or domestic violence than men are. Violence against women must be tackled more rigorously worldwide, as gender equality can only be achieved on the basis of non-violence. This applies in conflict- and post-conflict countries in particular. In order to achieve lasting solutions, women must be included as equal partners in conflict prevention and peace negotiations.

Along with our international partners and stakeholders from civil society, we underline the obligation to ensure gender equality and women’s rights. We are making this a priority both of our current membership of the UN Security Council and during our EU Council Presidency from July. There will thus be many more opportunities this year to present our priorities and to discuss them with a broad audience.

Background information:

The United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is the UN’s expert commission on gender equality and the promotion of women’s rights. It meets for two weeks in New York in the first quarter of each year. The CSW also features hundreds of side events on women’s rights organised by civil society and UN member states. A large number of senior government members and thousands of members of civil society attend it each year. The CSW is the second-largest UN event in New York after the opening of the General Assembly.


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