International Women’s Day Commemoration for the Asia-Pacific Region
The United Nations system in Bangkok marked International Women’s Day on 10 March 2015 with an interactive discussion on concretely advancing the gender equality agenda, including accelerated implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action.
The commemoration included a video message by the United Nations Secretary General; a keynote address by the Executive Secretary of ESCAP; and a dialogue with representatives of the diplomatic community, including the ambassadors of South Africa, Cambodia and Bangladesh.
Dr. Shamshad Akhtar underscored that gender equality is a matter of human rights and a precondition for the development and prosperity of the region. Dr. Akhtar also looked to the future stating that the proposed Sustainable Development Goals offer the promise of tackling gender inequalities in a holistic manner. Participants highlighted key thematic issues concerning the persistent challenges for women in the areas of leadership, participation, violence, peace and security.
Beyond the Asia-Pacific, regional and global leaders have reinforced the centrality of the Beijing Platform for Action and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women in the “Political declaration on the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women”, adopted unanimously at the 59th session of the Commission on the Status of Women in New York.
This Political Declaration emphasizes the need for a “transformative and comprehensive approach” to gender equality and women’s empowerment that combines strengthened legislation, policies and programmes alongside institutional support, transformation of discriminatory social norms, greater financial investment, monitoring and capacity building.