The UN Commission on the Status of Women will this week meet to push for policy change to address the fact that social protection reaches fewer women across the globe.
The 63rd session of the Commission will focus on the priority theme, Social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Under-Secretary-General and UN Women Executive Director, said that good social protection policy can be an equaliser for women. “However, the fact that 740 million women are working with little or no social protection and access to public services tells us that there is still a giant gap in the way that the women of the world are supported,” she said.
The CSW sets global standards to achieve gender equality. The Chair of the Bureau for the 63rd session, Geraldine Byrne Nason, said she wanted the session, scheduled until 22nd March, to produce an ambitious agreement on social protection that has a transformative impact.
This year’s session comes after the ILO highlighted that 11% fewer women access old-age pensions than men and the UN Women pointed to statistics indicating that women do 2.6 times more unpaid care and domestic work than men. It also follows Development Pathways last week, on International Women’s Day, revealing the scandal of public works programmes that use household-targeting make women work for no pay.
The forum – which more than 9,000 representatives have registered to attend – will at the end of the 63rd session provide concrete recommendations on the way forward.
There will be web-casts of the Commission on the Status of Women session, including the 15th March expert panel on social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure for gender equality, Harnessing synergies and securing financing. Our blog on gender-insensitive social protection is available here.