Challenges and achievements in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls

21 March 2014
ADVANCE UNEDITED VERSION 1
Commission on the Status of Women
Fifty-eighth session
10 – 21 March 2014
Challenges and achievements in the implementation of the
Millennium Development Goals for women and girls
Agreed conclusions

1. The Commission on the Status of Women reaffirms the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the outcome documents of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly,
and the declarations adopted by the Commission on the occasion of the tenth and fifteenth
anniversaries of the Fourth World Conference on Women.

2. The Commission reaffirms that the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of
Discrimination against Women and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the
Optional Protocols thereto, as well as other relevant conventions and treaties, provide an
international legal framework and a comprehensive set of measures for the elimination and
prevention of all forms of discrimination and violence against women and girls and the
promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women.

3. The Commission reaffirms that the full and effective implementation of the goals and
objectives of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action is an essential contribution to
achieving the internationally agreed development goals, including those contained in the
Millennium Declaration.

4. The Commission also reaffirms the international commitments made at relevant United
Nations summits and conferences in the area of gender equality and the empowerment of
women, including in the Programme of Action at the International Conference on Population and Development and its key actions for its further implementation.

5. The Commission further reaffirms the commitments to gender equality and the
empowerment of women made at the Millennium Summit; the 2005 World Summit; the 2010 high-level plenary meeting on the Millennium Development Goals; and the 2013 Special Event on the Millennium Development Goals. It also reaffirms the outcome document of the high-level meeting of the General Assembly on the realization of the Millennium Development Goals and other internationally agreed development goals for persons with disabilities: the way forward, a disability-inclusive development agenda towards 2015 and beyond.

6. The Commission acknowledges also the important role in the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls played by regional conventions, instruments and initiatives and their follow-up mechanisms, in respective regions and countries.

7. The Commission also reaffirms the outcome document of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, entitled “The future we want”, which recognized, inter alia, the

21 March 2014                                                                                                                       ADVANCE UNEDITED VERSION 2                                                                                          vital role of women in achieving sustainable development and resolved to unlock the potential of women as drivers, agents and equal beneficiaries of sustainable development.

8. The Commission also reaffirms the commitment to the full and effective implementation of and follow-up to all relevant resolutions of the General Assembly, in particular the
Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women, as well as relevant resolutions
of the Economic and Social Council and its subsidiary bodies, and recalls relevant resolutions of the Human Rights Council, in the area of gender equality, the empowerment of women, and human rights of women and girls. It also reaffirms its previous agreed conclusions, including, inter alia, on women and the economy and on the elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls.

9. The Commission recalls Security Council resolutions 1325 (2000), 1820 (2008), 1888
(2009), 1889 (2009), 1960 (2010), 2106 (2013) and 2122 (2013) on women, peace and
security and all relevant Security Council resolutions on children and armed conflict,
including resolutions 1882 (2009), 1998 (2011), 2068 (2012) and 2143 (2014).

10. The Commission recognizes the important role of the United Nations system, in particular of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UNWomen), in promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women that contributes to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls at the global, regional and national levels, in tracking progress of the Millennium Development Goals to support targeted measures in key areas of women’s empowerment and in assisting States, upon their request, in their efforts.

11. The Commission reaffirms that the promotion and protection of, and respect for, the human rights and fundamental freedoms of women, including the right to development, which are universal, indivisible, interdependent and interrelated, should be mainstreamed into all policies and programmes aimed at the eradication of poverty, and also reaffirms the need to take measures to ensure that every person is entitled to participate in, contribute to and enjoy economic, social, cultural and political development and that equal attention and urgent consideration should be given to the promotion, protection and full realization of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights.

12. The Commission reaffirms that gender equality, the empowerment of women and girls and enjoyment of their human rights and the eradication of poverty are essential to economic and social development, including the achievement of all the Millennium Development Goals.  The Commission notes the universal context of gender equality and recognizes that almost fifteen years after the Millennium Development Goals were launched, no country has achieved equality for women and girls, and significant levels of inequality between womenand men persist, although the Millennium Development Goals are important in efforts toeradicate poverty and of key importance to the international community. The Commission reaffirms the vital role of women as agents of development, and recognizes that gender equality and the empowerment of women must be achieved to realize the unfinished business of the Millennium Development Goals and accelerate sustainable development beyond 2015.

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13. The Commission recognizes that increasing women’s economic empowerment is central to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. It stresses that investing in women and girls has a multiplier effect on productivity, efficiency and sustained economic growth and that women’s economic independence is vital to their role as full and equal partners for development and essential to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals including to the eradication of poverty. The Commission recognizes that the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals requires the full integration of women into the formal economy, in particular, into economic decision-making, which means changing the current gender-based division of labour so that women and men enjoy equal treatment.

14. The Commission recognizes that care work, both paid and unpaid, and care services are of key importance in achieving the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls, and further recognizes that caregiving is a critical societal function which involves shared
responsibility.

15. The Commission acknowledges the important contribution of migrant women in realizing the Millennium Development Goals, and recognizes that impediments to accessing employment, vocational training, housing, schooling, health services and social services, as well as other services that, in accordance with national legislation, are intended for use by the public, contribute to the vulnerability of migrants.

16. The Commission welcomes the commitments and concerted policy action at national,
regional and global levels to achieve the Millennium Development Goals for women and
girls. The Commission recognizes the innovative efforts by some countries in the
implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls by adapting
targets to local contexts and reporting on a broader range of issues related to gender equality and the empowerment of women than the Millennium Development Goals specifically addressed, including on human rights of women and girls.

17. The Commission welcomes progress made for women and girls in several areas of the
Millennium Development Goals, and recognizes the importance of Millennium Development Goal 3 in signaling gender equality and women’s empowerment as a global priority. It especially welcomes the significant progress made towards eliminating gender disparity in primary education enrolment and on increasing the proportion of women in national parliaments in some regions.

18. The Commission is deeply concerned that overall progress for women and girls across all the Millennium Development Goals remains slow and uneven, including on Millennium
Development Goal 3, both within and between countries and that lack of progress on gender equality has hindered progress towards all of the Millennium Development Goals. It is especially concerned about the lack of progress for poverty-stricken regions and areas and for marginalized, vulnerable and disadvantaged women and girls and those women and girls who experience multiple forms of discrimination and inequalities of any kind.

19. The Commission notes and expresses deep concern with regards to Millennium Development Goal 1 (Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger), that poverty impedes women’s

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It notes the importance of food security and nutrition for achieving Millennium
Development Goal 1, and the need to address gender gaps in the fight against hunger, and
recognizes that insufficient priority is given to addressing malnutrition in women and girls.

20. The Commission notes that with regards to Millennium Development Goal 2 (Achieve
universal primary education) significant progress has been made in net primary school
enrolments and towards eliminating gender disparity in primary education enrolment but
expresses concern that the heavy focus on numbers has resulted in less focus on completion, educational quality and learning outcomes. The Commission further notes the lack of progress in closing gender gaps in access to, retention, and completion of secondary
education, which has been shown to contribute more strongly than primary school attendance to the achievement of gender equality, the empowerment of women, and the human rights of women and girls and several positive social and economic outcomes. The majority of youth lacking basic education are young women. Notwithstanding the progress, more needs to be done where progress remains uneven within groups and between countries to achieve the targets by 2015.

21. The Commission notes that with regards to Millennium Development Goal 3 (Promote
gender equality and empower women) progress has been slow with: persistent gender
disparities in some regions in secondary and tertiary education enrolment; the lack of
economic empowerment, autonomy, and independence of women including lack of
integration into the formal economy, unequal access to full and productive employment and decent work, under-representation in non-agricultural wage employment, over-represention in low paid jobs and gender-stereotyped jobs like domestic and care work, and the lack of equal pay for equal work or work of equal value; the unequal burden of unpaid care work and insufficient measures to reconcile paid work and care responsibilites; the persistence of discriminatory attitudes, norms, stereotypes, and legal frameworks; insufficient social protection and insurance coverage for women; and despite progress, the low proportion and unequal participation and representation of women at all levels of decision making, including in national parliaments and other governance structures.

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22. The Commission notes that with regards to Millennium Development Goal 4 (Reduce child mortality) taking into account the important interconnections between women’s and
children’s health and gender equality and empowerment of women, significant progress has
been made in reducing child mortality globally including through the efforts to eliminate new HIV infections and vertical transmissions in children, and other factors including lack of vaccines, malnutrition, malaria, diarrhea, hunger and anemia, but the targets are likely to be missed. The Commission notes with deep concern that increasingly, child deaths are
concentrated in the poorest regions and in the first month of life, and further expresses
concern that children are at greater risk of dying before the age of five if they are born in
rural and remote areas or to poor households. The Commission also notes with deep concern that some regions have higher female under-five mortality rates due to discriminatory practices. The Commission recognizes that progress on reducing child mortality is linked with women’s access to health-care services, safe drinking water, sanitation and housing, as well as mothers’ lack of basic education and nutrition.

23. The Commission notes that with regards to Millennium Development Goal 5 (Improve
maternal health) progress towards its two targets, to reduce maternal mortality and to achieve universal access to reproductive health, has been particularly slow and uneven, especially for the poorest and rural sectors of the population, within and across countries. It notes that the numbers of preventable maternal deaths continue to be unacceptably high and that adolescent girls face higher risks. It further expresses concern about the significant gaps in funding that remain and the magnitude of unmet need for all sexual and reproductive health care services, including emergency obstetric services and skilled attendance at delivery, safe and effective contraception, services for the complications of unsafe abortion and safe abortion where such services are permitted by national law, prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted infections and HIV/AIDS, among others, through the primary health care system with effective referral to higher levels of care. The Commission further notes continuing challenges to progress, including failure to protect and fulfil reproductive rights in accordance with the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development, the Beijing Platform for Action and the outcome documents of their review conferences, poor nutrition and heavy workloads for pregnant women.

24. The Commission notes that with regards to Millennium Development Goal 6 (Combat
HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases) progress has been limited, with the number of
women living with HIV increasing globally since 2001. It also notes the particular
vulnerability to HIV infection of adolescent girls and young women, as well as other women
and girls who are at a higher risk. It stresses that structural gender inequalities and violence against women and girls undermine effective HIV responses and the need to give full attention to increasing the capacity of women and adolescent girls to protect themselves from the risk of HIV infection, including through the provision of health care services, inter alia, sexual and reproductive health care services. It further notes the challenges faced by women and girls living with HIV and AIDS including stigma, discrimination and violence. The Commission further notes that, despite increased global and national investments in malaria control which have resulted in decreasing the burden of malaria in many countries and the elimination of malaria in some countries, malaria prevention and control efforts, particularly

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25. The Commission notes that with regards to Millennium Development Goal 7 (Environmental sustainability) while progress has been made globally in access to safe drinking water, progress on access to basic sanitation has been particularly slow, and the target is likely to be missed, with serious implications for women and girls, especially those living in vulnerable conditions. The Commission expresses concern that the lack of access to safe drinking water particularly affects women and girls and that they frequently bear the burden for its collection in rural and urban areas, and further recognizes the need for further improvement in this regard. The Commission further notes that the lack of adequate sanitation facilities disproportionately affects women and girls, including their labour force and school participation rates and increases their vulnerability to violence. The Commission further notes that women and girls are often disproportionally affected by desertification, deforestation, natural disasters and climate change due to gender inequalities, and the dependence of many women on natural resources for their livelihoods.

26. The Commission notes with regards to Millennium Development Goal 8 (A global
partnership for development) that the development resources, including official development assistance, in support of gender equality and women’s empowerment are essential and remain inadequate to the task. The Commission also notes that the global economic crisis and the shifts to austerity measures taken by some countries have impacted women and girls negatively, with reduction in investment in social sectors. It also notes that a gender gap in access to information and communication technologies persists.

27. The Commission is concerned that several indicators to monitor the Millennium
Development Goals are not disaggregated by sex, age and other factors and therefore do not provide sufficient information about the situation of women and girls throughout their life cycle, including those on poverty, hunger, environmental sustainability and global
partnership for development while others are still limited, such as those related to
Millennium Development Goal 3, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

28. The Commission is concerned that several critical issues related to gender equality and the empowerment of women were not adequately addressed by the Millennium Development Goals such as, inter alia: violence against women and girls; child, early and forced marriage; women’s and girls’ disproportionate share of unpaid work, particularly unpaid care work; women’s access to decent work, the gender wage gap, employment in the informal sector, low paid and gender-stereotyped work such as domestic and care work; women’s equal access to, control and ownership of assets and productive resources including land, energy and fuel, and women’s inheritance rights; women’s sexual and reproductive health, and reproductive rights in accordance with the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development, the Beijing Platform for Action and the outcome documents of their review conferences; universal health coverage; noncommunicable diseases; accountability for violations of human rights of women and girls; and women’s full and equal participation in decision-making at all levels. The Commission recognizes that unless all dimensions of gender inequality are addressed, gender equality, the

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29. The Commission recognizes that progress on the achievement of all Millennium
Development Goals for women and girls has been held back due to the persistence of
historical and structural unequal power relations between women and men, poverty and
inequalities and disadvantages in access to resources and opportunities that limit women’s
and girls’ capabilities, and growing gaps in equality of opportunity, discriminatory laws,
policies, social norms, attitudes, harmful customary and contemporary practices and gender stereotypes.

30. The Commission strongly condemns all forms of violence against women and girls. It
expresses deep concern that discrimination and violence against women and girls continues
to occur in all parts of the world and that that all forms of violence against women and girls
are impediments to the development of their full potential as equal partners with men and
boys in all aspects of life, as well as obstacles to the achievement of the Millennium
Development Goals.

31. The Commission welcomes international momentum to address the issue of child, early and forced marriage. The Commission recognizes that child, early and forced marriage is a
harmful practice, and notes that its continued prevalence, amongst other factors, has slowed the achievement of several of the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls.

32. The Commission emphasizes that the empowerment of women is a critical factor in the
achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, including the eradication of poverty and hunger, and that the implementation of special measures, as appropriate, aimed at
empowering women can help accomplish this. It recognizes that inequality is a concern for
all countries and that it represents an urgent challenge with multiple implications for the
realization of the economic, social and cultural rights of women and girls. It also emphasizes
that women’s poverty is directly related to the absence of economic opportunities and
autonomy, lack of access to economic and productive resources, to quality education and
support services and women’s minimal participation in the decision-making process. The
Commission further recognizes that women’s poverty and lack of empowerment as well as
their exclusion from social and economic policies can place them at increased risk of
violence and that violence against women impedes social and economic development, as
well as the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.

33. The Commission is also concerned that countries affected by natural disasters are less likely to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, and further notes that women and girls are disproportionately affected by natural disasters. It further recognizes that women play a vital role in disaster risk reduction, response and recovery, including rehabilitation and reconstruction, and the need to enhance women’s access, capacities and opportunities to effectively and equally participate in the prevention and preparedness efforts and response to disasters.

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34. The Commission is deeply concerned that climate change poses a challenge to the
achievement of sustainable development and that women and girls are disproportionately
affected by the impacts of desertification, deforestation and natural disasters, persistent
drought, extreme weather events, sea-level rise, coastal erosion and ocean acidification, and is also deeply concerned that the adverse impacts of climate change on women and girls, especially those living in poverty can be exacerbated by gender inequality and
discrimination, and expresses profound alarm that greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise globally, remains deeply concerned that all countries, particularly developing countries, are vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change and are already experiencing increased impacts, including persistent drought and extreme weather events, sea-level rise, coastal erosion and ocean acidification further threatening food security and efforts to eradicate poverty and achieve sustainable development and in this regard emphasizes that adaptation to climate change represents an immediate and urgent global priority.

35. The Commission expresses deep concern about the ongoing adverse impacts, particularly on development and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls, of the world financial and economic crisis, recognizing evidence of an uneven and fragile recovery, and cognizant that the global economy, notwithstanding significant efforts that helped contain tail risks, improve financial market conditions and sustain recovery, still remains in a challenging phase, with downside risks, inter alia, for women and girls, including high volatility in global markets, high unemployment, particularly among youth, indebtedness in some countries and widespread fiscal strains that pose challenges for global economic recovery and reflect the need for additional progress towards sustaining and rebalancing global demand, and stresses the need for continuing efforts to address systemic fragilities and imbalances and to reform and strengthen the international financial system while implementing the reforms agreed to date, and in respect of maintaining adequate levels of funding for the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of women.

36. The Commission acknowledges that the global burden and threat of non-communicable
diseases constitutes one of the major challenges for sustainable development in the twentyfirst century, which may have a direct impact on the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals. It further notes that developing countries bear a disproportionate burden and that non-communicable diseases can affect women and men differently.

37. The Commission further recognizes that progress on the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls has been limited due to the lack of systematic gender mainstreaming and integration of a gender perspective in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the Millennium Development Goals. The Commission also recognizes that effective gender-responsive monitoring of the Millennium Development Goals has been limited due to a lack of investment in and the consistent collection and use of reliable, integrated gender indicators, statistics and data, disaggregated by sex, age, disability, location and other relevant factors, and that goals, targets and indicators, including gender sensitive indicators, are valuable in measuring and accelerating progress, and are enhanced by voluntarily sharing information, knowledge and experience. The Commission acknowledges in this regard the importance of civil registration systems and vital statistics.

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38. The Commission also recognizes that insufficient priority given to and significant
underinvestment in gender equality and the empowerment of women in the realization of the human rights of women and girls continue to limit progress on the Millennium Development Goals for girls and women of all ages, their families and communities, and for the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development. It stresses that the available resources, through domestic resource mobilization and official development assistance, and their allocation remain a concern and are often inadequate to the task.

39. The Commission acknowledges the strategic and coordinating role of national
machineries for the advancement of women, which should be placed at the highest
possible level in government, for the achievement of gender equality and the
implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls, and the
need to endow these machineries with the necessary human and sufficient financial
resources to enable them to function effectively. The Commission also acknowledges
the contribution of national human rights institutions where they exist.

40. The Commission acknowledges the major contributions made by civil society, including
women’s and community based organizations and feminist groups in placing the interests,
needs and visions of women on national, regional and international agendas.

41. The Commission recognizes that all human rights are universal, indivisible and
interdependent and interrelated and that the international community must treat human rights globally in a fair and equal manner, on the same footing and with the same emphasis, and stresses that, while the significance of national and regional particularities and various
historical, cultural and religious backgrounds must be borne in mind, it is the duty of States
regardless of their political, economic and cultural systems to promote and protect all human rights and fundamental freedoms.

42. The Commission urges Governments, at all levels, and as appropriate, with the relevant entities of the United Nations system, international and regional organizations, within their respective mandates and bearing in mind national priorities, and invites national human rights institutions where they exist, civil society, including non-governmental organizations,
the private sector, employer organizations, trade unions, media and other relevant actors, as applicable, to take the following actions:
A. Realizing women’s and girls’ full enjoyment of all human rights

(a) Consider ratifying or acceding to, as a particular matter of priority, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Convention on the
Rights of the Child and their respective Optional Protocols, limit the extent of any
reservations, formulate any such reservations as precisely and as narrowly as possible to
ensure that no reservations are incompatible with the object and purpose of the
Conventions, review their reservations regularly with a view to withdrawing them and
withdraw reservations that are contrary to the object and purpose of the relevant treaty;
and implement them fully by, inter alia, putting in place effective national legislation and
policies;

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(b) Accelerate full and effective implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action and the
Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development
and its key actions for their further implementation and the outcomes of their review
conferences to achieve the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls;
(c) Eliminate all forms of discrimination against women and girls through: the development,
where needed, adoption and accelerated and effective implementation and monitoring of
laws and comprehensive policy measures; the removal, where they exist, of
discriminatory provisions in legal frameworks including punitive provisions; and setting
up legal, policy, administrative and other comprehensive measures including temporary
special measures as appropriate to ensure women’s and girls’ equal and effective access
to justice and accountability for violations of human rights of women and girls;
(d) Implement concrete and long-term measures to transform discriminatory social norms and gender stereotypes including those that limit women’s roles to being mothers and
caregivers, and eliminate harmful practices including, inter alia, female genital mutilation
and honor crimes, in order to achieve gender equality and women’s and girls’
empowerment, and the full realization of the human rights of women and girls;
(e) Fully engage men and boys, including community leaders as strategic partners and allies in the elimination of all forms of discrimination and violence against women and girls
both in the family and in society, design and implement national policies that aim to
transform those social norms that condone violence against women and girls, and work to
counteract attitudes by which women and girls are regarded as subordinate to men and
boys, including by understanding and addressing the root causes of gender inequality
such as unequal power relations, social norms, practices and stereotypes that perpetuate
discrimination against women and girls, and engage them in efforts to promote and
achieve gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls;
(f) Acknowledge publicly the important and legitimate role of women human rights
defenders in the promotion and protection of human rights, democracy, the rule of law
and development and take appropriate, robust and practical steps to protect them;
(g) Adopt and implement specific and targeted measures recognizing that some women
experience increased vulnerability and marginalization due to multiple and intersecting
forms of discrimination and inequalities;
(h) Take all appropriate measures to adopt and implement disability inclusive national
development strategies and legislative, administrative, social, educational and other
measures to protect and promote the rights of women and girls with disabilities, as persons
with disabilities are more vulnerable to discrimination and violence, and are still largely
invisible in the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the Millennium
Development Goals;
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(i) Encourage the participation of indigenous women and girls in the World Conference of
Indigenous Peoples, noting the contribution of that conference towards the achievement of
internationally agreed development goals bearing in mind that indigenous women and
girls face particular challenges in achieving the Millennium Development Goals;
(j) Enact and implement legislation to protect, support and empower child headed
households, in particular those headed by girls, and include provisions to ensure their
economic well-being, access to health care services, nutrition, safe drinking water and
sanitation, shelter and education, inheritance, and ensure that these families are protected,
supported and assisted to stay together;
(k) Address the multiple and intersecting factors contributing to the disproportionate impact of poverty on women and girls over their lifecycle as well as intra-household gender
inequalities in allocation of resources, opportunities and power by realizing women’s and
girls’ civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to
development; and ensure women’s and girls’ inheritance and property rights, equal access
to quality education, equal access to justice, social protection, and an adequate standard of
living, including food security and nutrition, safe drinking water and sanitation, energy
and fuel resources and housing, as well as women’s and adolescent girls’ access to health
including sexual and reproductive health care services, and women’s equal access to full
and productive employment and decent work, women’s full participation and integration
in the formal economy, equal pay for equal work or work of equal value, and equal
sharing of unpaid work;
(l) Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in public and private spaces,
through multi-sectoral and coordinated approaches to prevent and respond to violence
against women and girls and exercise due diligence, investigate, prosecute and punish the
perpetrators of violence against women and girls, and end impunity, and provide
protection as well as universal access to comprehensive social, health and legal services
for all victims and survivors, to ensure their full recovery and reintegration into society
and, bearing in mind the importance for all women and girls to live free from violence,
to address the structural and underlying causes of violence against women and girls
through enhanced prevention measures, research and strengthened coordination and
monitoring and evaluation;
(m) Eliminate all harmful practices, including child, early and forced marriage and female
genital mutilation, through reviewing, adopting, enacting and enforcing laws and
regulations that prohibit such practices, creating awareness around their harmful health
consequences, and generating social support for the enforcement of these laws;
(n) Strengthen bilateral, regional and international cooperation for the full and effective
implementation of the United Nations Convention on Transnational Organized Crime and
its supplementary Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons,
especially Women and Children, including by implementing the United Nations Global
Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons, and take appropriate measures to raise
public awareness of the issue of trafficking in persons, particularly women and girls,

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including the factors that make women and girls vulnerable to trafficking; to discourage,
with a view to eliminating, the demand that fosters all forms of exploitation, including
sexual exploitation and forced labour; to review and adopt laws, regulations and penalties
necessary to deal with this issue and publicize them to emphasize that trafficking is a
serious crime; and encourage media providers, including Internet service providers, to
adopt or strengthen self-regulatory measures to promote the responsible use of media,
particularly the Internet, with a view to eliminating the exploitation of women and
children;
(o) Ensure the promotion and protection of the human rights of all women and their sexual
and reproductive health, and reproductive rights in accordance with the Programme of
Action of the International Conference on Population and Development, the Beijing
Platform for Action and the outcome documents of their review conferences, including
through the development and enforcement of policies and legal frameworks, and
strengthening of health systems, that make universally accessible and available quality
comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care services, commodities, information
and education, including, inter alia, safe and effective methods of modern contraception,
emergency contraception, prevention programmes for adolescent pregnancy, maternal
health care such as skilled birth attendance and emergency obstetric care which will
reduce obstetric fistula and other complications of pregnancy and delivery, safe abortion
where such services are permitted by national law, and prevention and treatment of
reproductive tract infections, sexually transmitted infections, HIV, and reproductive
cancers, recognizing that human rights include the right to have control over and decide
freely and responsibly on matters related to their sexuality, including sexual and
reproductive health, free from coercion, discrimination, and violence;
(p) Ensure universal access to comprehensive prevention, affordable treatment, care and
support services for HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infections, free of stigma and
discrimination, with a gender perspective, and to provide comprehensive information,
voluntary counseling and testing to young women and adolescent girls living and affected
with HIV and AIDS;
(q) Develop, implement and support national prevention, care and treatment strategies, to
effectively address obstetric fistula using a multi-sectoral, multidisciplinary,
comprehensive and integrated approach in order to bring about lasting solutions;
(r) Encourage partnerships for global health to support Member States in carrying out their responsibilities, including in moving towards universal health coverage, which implies
that all people, including women and girls, have access, without discrimination, to
nationally determined sets of the promotive, preventive, curative, rehabilitative and
palliative basic health services, and vaccines, needed and essential, safe, affordable,
effective and quality medicines, especially through the promotion of primary health care,
while ensuring that the use of these services does not expose the users to financial
hardship, with a specific emphasis on the poor, vulnerable, and marginalized segments of
the population, and calls upon Member States to strengthen and improve the quality of
health systems in this regard;

21 March 2014
ADVANCE UNEDITED VERSION 13
(s) Develop comprehensive strategies to target gender inequality in health care and put into practice policies to ensure equal access for women, adolescents and youth to affordable
and adequate health care services, including primary health care and basic nutrition;
(t) Pursue and promote gender-based approaches for the prevention and control of noncommunicable
diseases founded on data disaggregated by sex and age in an effort to
address the critical differences in the risks of morbidity and mortality from noncommunicable diseases for women and men;
(u) Promote and protect women’s and girls’ right to education on the basis of equal
opportunity and non-discrimination throughout their lifecycle at all levels and promote
equal and inclusive access to quality early childhood, primary, secondary and postsecondary education, non-formal education, catch-up and adult literacy education for
those who did not receive formal education, skills development and vocational training
and human rights education and training, with specific attention to: eliminating gender
disparities at all levels of education by increasing the retention, transition and completion
rates of women and girls; improving the quality of education and learning outcomes;
eliminating gender stereotypes in the curriculum; mainstreaming a gender perspective into
education and training programmes, including science and technology; eradicating female
illiteracy and supporting school-to-work transition through skills development to enable
their active participation in economic, social and cultural development, governance and
decision-making;
(v) Adopt targeted measures to ensure girls’ safety and an environment free from sexual
harassment in the school and in the commute to school including by improving
transportation, strengthening infrastructure by providing separate and adequate sanitation facilities, improved lighting, playgrounds and other safe environments, conducting violence prevention activities in schools and communities; establishing and enforcing penalties for all forms of violence and harassment against girls;
(w) Promote the right to education by making primary education compulsory and available
free to all children and through the progressive introduction of subsidized education,
bearing in mind that special measures to ensure equal access, including affirmative action
to contribute to achieving equal opportunity and combating exclusion and ensuring school
attendance, in particular for girls and children from low-income families and children who
become heads of households;
(x) Develop and implement educational programmes and teaching materials, including
comprehensive evidence-based education for human sexuality, based on full and accurate
information, for all adolescents and youth, in a manner consistent with their evolving
capacities, with the appropriate direction and guidance from parents and legal guardians,
with the involvement of children, adolescents, youth and communities, and in
coordination with women’s, youth and specialized non-governmental organizations, in
order to modify the social and cultural patterns of conduct of men and women of all ages,
to eliminate prejudices and to promote and build informed decision-making,
communication and risk reduction skills for the development of respectful relationships

21 March 2014
ADVANCE UNEDITED VERSION 14
and based on gender equality and human rights, as well as teacher education and training
programmes for both formal and non-formal education;
(y) With the support of international organizations, civil society and non-governmental
organizations, as appropriate, develop policies and programmes, giving priority to formal,
informal and non-formal education, that support girls and enable them to acquire
knowledge, develop self-esteem and take responsibility for their own lives, and to place
special focus on programmes to educate women and men, especially parents, about the
importance of girls’ physical and mental health and well-being, including the elimination
of discrimination and violence against girls;
(z) Ensure women’s right to work and rights at work through gender-responsive policies and programmes that promote women’s economic empowerment, including decent work for all, promote equal pay for equal work or work of equal value, invest in and empower
women in productive sectors of the economy, support women’s technical, managerial and
entrepreneurial capacities, promote collective bargaining, address the gendered division of
labour, prohibit and redress sexual harassment, prevent discrimination against women in
the workplace, support the reconciliation of paid work with family/care responsibilities for
both women and men, and promote women’s full and equal participation in the formal
economy, in particular in economic decision-making, and empower women in the
informal economy, with particular attention to women domestic workers, who are entitled
to the same basic rights as other workers, including protection from violence and abuse,
fair terms of employment, and a safe and healthy working environment;
(aa) Guarantee women’s and girls’ inheritance rights and their full and equal access to and
control over assets and natural and other productive resources, including full and equal
rights to own and lease land and other property, and undertaking administrative reforms
and all necessary measures to give women the same right as men to credit capital, finance,
financial assets, science and technology, vocational training, information and
communication technologies and markets, and to ensure equal access to justice and legal
assistance;
(bb) Encourage States and relevant civil society groups to empower women and girls by
supporting programmes that facilitate participation through public and private investment
in agriculture aiming to achieve food security and nutrition;
(cc) Recognize, resource, and support programmes that advance gender equality and women’s rights in all areas of economic activities including fisheries and aquaculture to address food security and nutrition, and meaningfully facilitate women’s contributions to small scale and artisan fisheries and aquaculture, commercial fisheries, oceans and seas use and care;
(dd) Ensure non-discriminatory access for women of all ages to gender-responsive,
universally accessible, available, affordable, sustainable, and high quality services and
infrastructure, including health care, safe drinking water and sanitation, transport, energy,

21 March 2014
ADVANCE UNEDITED VERSION 15
housing, agricultural technology, financial and legal services, and information and
communication technologies;
(ee) Invest in closing the gender gap in information and communications technologies by
making them affordable and accessible including in access to broadband as a tool for the
empowerment of women and girls and the exercise of their full range of human rights,
access to information, access to markets, networking and increased opportunities;
(ff) Promote universal social protection across the lifecycle, including for older women, that
gives women and girls protection against risks and vulnerabilities and promotes their
social inclusion and full enjoyment of all human rights;
(gg) Recognize that caregiving is a critical societal function and therefore emphasize the need to value, reduce and redistribute unpaid care work by prioritizing social protection
policies, including accessible and affordable social services, including care services for
children, persons with disabilities, older persons, and persons living with HIV and AIDS,
and all others in need of care; the development of infrastructure including access to
environmentally sound time-and-energy-saving technologies; employment policies,
including family friendly policies with maternity and paternity leave and benefits; promote
the equal sharing of responsibilities and chores between men and women in care giving
and domestic work to reduce the domestic work burden of women and girls and to change
the attitudes that reinforce the division of labour based on gender;
(hh) Recognize the family as a contributor to sustainable development, including in the
achievement of the internationally agreed development goals for women and girls, that
gender equality and women’s empowerment improve the well-being of the family, and in
this regard stress the need of elaborating and implementing family policies aimed at
achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment and at enhancing the full
participation of women in society;
(ii) Promote and protect effectively the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all
migrants, regardless of their migration status, especially those of women and children, and
to address international migration through international, regional or bilateral cooperation
and dialogue and through a comprehensive and balanced approach, recognizing the roles
and responsibilities of countries of origin, transit and destination in promoting and
protecting the human rights of all migrants, and avoiding approaches that might aggravate
their vulnerability;
B. Strengthening the enabling environment for gender equality and the empowerment of
women
(jj) Work towards ensuring that global trade, financial and investment agreements are
conducive to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women and
human rights of women and girls, and complement national development efforts to
achieve the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls, including through
reaffirming the critical role of open, equitable, rules-based, predictable, non

21 March 2014
ADVANCE UNEDITED VERSION 16
discriminatory multilateral trading system, and strengthen the effectiveness of the global
economic system’s support for development by encouraging the mainstreaming of a
gender perspective into development policies at all levels in all sectors;
(kk) Underline commitments to strengthen national efforts, including with the support of
international cooperation, aimed at addressing the rights and needs of women and girls
affected by natural disasters, armed conflicts, other complex humanitarian emergencies,
trafficking in persons and terrorism, within the context of actions geared to the realization
of the internationally agreed goals and commitments related to gender equality and the
empowerment of women, including the Millennium Development Goals, recognizing the
challenges they face; and also underline the need to take concerted actions in conformity
with international law to remove the obstacles to the full realization of the rights of
women and girls living under foreign occupation, so as to ensure the achievement of the
above-mentioned goals and commitments recognizing the challenges they face;
(ll) Implement macro-economic policies that, together with labor and social policies, promote full and productive employment and decent work for all and gender equality and the empowerment of women, to enhance economic efficiency and optimize the contribution of women to economic growth and poverty reduction; and increase awareness among
decision-makers, the private sector and employers of the necessity of women’s economic
empowerment and their important contribution;
(mm) Strengthen the role of women in formal and informal sectors, including in cross-border trade and agriculture, put in place measures needed to improve women’s access to markets and productive resources, and make markets safe for women including those living in rural areas, and thereby ensure that women- and men-owned businesses and farms have equal opportunities in markets;
(nn) Identify and develop strategies to expand trade opportunities for women producers, and
facilitate the active participation of women in national, regional and global trade;
(oo) Take measures to ensure that, in global and national policy responses to financial and
economic crises and to excessive volatile food and energy prices, any negative impacts on
gender equality and the empowerment of women are minimized, including on
employment and funding for essential services and social protection systems, and that
particular support is given to the most disadvantaged and vulnerable persons, and that
gender equality and the empowerment of women continue to be promoted, including the
protection of the human rights of women and girls;
(pp) Refrain from promulgating and applying any unilateral economic, financial or trade
measures not in accordance with international law and the Charter of the United Nations
that impede the full achievement of economic and social development, particularly in
developing countries;
(qq) Prioritize and mainstream gender equality perspectives in all social, economic and
environmental policies and programmes to implement the Millennium Development

21 March 2014
ADVANCE UNEDITED VERSION 17
Goals, including national development policies and strategies to eradicate poverty, and
gender-responsive budgeting and public expenditure allocation processes; establish and
strengthen institutional mechanisms for gender mainstreaming at local, national and
regional levels, promote and ensure the implementation of national legal frameworks and
the coordination between branches of government to ensure gender equality;
(rr) Promote equal opportunities and the full and equal participation of women and men as
agents and beneficiaries of people-centred sustainable development, and reaffirm that
eradication of poverty based on sustained economic growth, social development,
environmental protection and social justice requires the involvement of women in
economic and social development;
(ss) Adopt measures to implement and monitor the Millennium Development Goals for
women and girls in armed conflict and post-conflict situations, and women and girls
affected by violent extremism, and ensure women’s effective participation at all levels and
at all stages and in peace processes and mediation efforts, conflict prevention and
resolution, peacekeeping, peacebuilding and recovery, as laid out in relevant Security
Council resolutions on women, peace and security, and in this regard support the
involvement of women’s organizations and civil society organizations. End impunity by
ensuring accountability and punishing perpetrators of the most serious crimes against
women and girls under national and international law, and ensure that alleged perpetrators
of those crimes are held accountable under national justice or, where applicable,
international justice;
(tt) Promote the integration of a gender perspective in environmental and climate change
policies and strengthen mechanisms and provide adequate resources to ensure women’s
full and equal participation in decision-making at all levels on environmental issues, in
particular on strategies and policies related to the impacts of climate change, such as
extreme weather events and slow onset impacts, including drought, ocean acidification,
sea level rise, and loss of biodiversity on the lives of women and girls; and ensure a
comprehensive approach to address the hardships faced by women and girls by integrating
their specific needs into humanitarian response to natural disasters and into the planning,
delivery and monitoring of disaster risk reduction policies to address natural disasters and
climate change, and ensuring sustainable natural resources management;
(uu) Strengthen international cooperation in technology and innovation for the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women, including through public-private
partnerships;
(vv)Strengthen and support the contributions of rural women to the agricultural sector and to enhancing agricultural and rural development, including small-scale farming, and ensure
that women have equal access to agricultural technologies, through investments and
transfer of technology on mutually agreed terms, and innovation in small scale agricultural
production and distribution; and address the existing gaps on and barriers to trading their
agricultural products in local, regional and international markets;

21 March 2014
ADVANCE UNEDITED VERSION 18
(ww) Strengthen international cooperation, including the role of North-South, South-South
and triangular cooperation, bearing in mind that South-South cooperation is not a
substitute for, but rather a complement to, North-South cooperation, and invites all
Member States to enhance South-South and triangular cooperation focusing on shared
development priorities with the involvement of all relevant stakeholders in government,
civil society and the private sector, while noting that national ownership and leadership in
this regard are indispensable for the achievement of gender equality and the
empowerment of women and girls;
(xx) Recognize the important role the media can play in the elimination of gender stereotypes, and to the extent consistent with freedom of expression, increase the participation and access of women to all forms of media, and encourage the media to increase public awareness of the Beijing Platform for Action, the Millennium Development Goals, gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls;
C. Maximizing investments in gender equality and the empowerment of women
(yy) Increase and ensure the effectiveness of financial resources across all sectors to achieve gender equality, empowerment of women and the realization and enjoyment of women’s and girls’ human rights through mobilization of financial resources from all sources, including domestic resource mobilization and allocation and increased priority to gender equality in official development assistance, and the creation of voluntary innovative
financing mechanisms, as appropriate;
(zz) Urge developed countries that have not yet done so, in accordance with their
commitments, to make concrete efforts towards meeting the target of 0.7 per cent of their
gross national product for official development assistance to developing countries and the
target of 0.15 to 0.20 per cent of their gross national product for official development
assistance to least developed countries, and encourage developing countries to build on
the progress achieved in ensuring that official development assistance is used effectively
to help meet development goals and targets and help them, inter alia, to achieve gender
equality and the empowerment of women;
(aaa) Recognize that the long-term sustainability of debt depends on, inter alia, economic
growth, the mobilization of domestic and international resources, export prospects of
debtor countries, sustainable debt management, sound macroeconomic policies that also
support job creation, transparent and effective regulatory frameworks and success in
overcoming structural development problems, and hence on the creation of an enabling
international environment that is conducive to sustainable development, gender equality
and the empowerment of women;
(bbb)Support and institutionalize a gender-sensitive approach to public financial management, including gender-responsive budgeting across all sectors of public expenditure, to address gaps in resourcing for gender equality and women’s empowerment, and ensure all national and sectoral plans and policies for gender equality and the empowerment of women are fully costed and adequately resourced to ensure their effective implementation;

21 March 2014
ADVANCE UNEDITED VERSION 19
(ccc) Monitor and evaluate the impact of all economic decision-making on gender equality,
including public sector expenditures, austerity measures, where they apply, public-private
partnerships and investments, and official development assistance, and take corrective
action to prevent discriminatory impacts and achieve gender equality and the
empowerment of women, including by ensuring promoting women’s full and equal
participation in economic decision-making structures;
(ddd) Increase resources and support for grassroots, local, national, regional and global
women’s and civil society organizations to advance and promote gender equality, the
empowerment of women and the human rights of women and girls;
D. Strengthening the evidence-base for gender equality and the empowerment of women
(eee) Improve systematic and coordinated collection, analysis, dissemination and use of
gender statistics and data disaggregated by sex, age, disability and other relevant variables
at national level, through appropriate financial and technical support and capacitybuilding,
while recognizing the need for international cooperation in this regard;
(fff) Collect regularly and disseminate statistics on the minimum set of gender indicators and the core set of violence against women indicators adopted by the United Nations
Statistical Commission in 2013;
(ggg) Continue to develop and enhance standards and methodologies, for use at national and international levels, to improve data, inter alia, on women’s poverty, income distribution
within households, unpaid care work, women’s access to, control and ownership of assets
and productive resources, and women’s participation at all levels of decision-making,
including to monitor progress on the Millennium Development Goals for women and
girls;
(hhh) Develop and strengthen national monitoring and evaluation mechanisms to assess
policies and programmes to achieve the Millennium Development Goals for women and
girls and promote the sharing of best practices;
E. Ensuring women’s participation and leadership at all levels and strengthening
accountability
(iii) Take measures to ensure women’s full, equal and effective participation in all fields and
leadership at all levels of decision-making in the public and private sectors through
policies and actions such as temporary special measures, as appropriate, and by setting and
working to achieve concrete goals, targets and benchmarks;
(jjj) Strengthen the participation in and contributions of women in decision-making processes on national, regional and global trade;

21 March 2014
ADVANCE UNEDITED VERSION 20
(kkk) Ensure the effective participation of women’s and youth and other relevant civil society organizations in the design, continued implementation, monitoring and evaluation of
policies to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and take into account their views
in the elaboration of the post-2015 development agenda;
(lll) Develop and implement effective measures to account for the achievement of gender
equality, the empowerment of women, and the realization of the human rights of women
and girls;
(mmm) Strengthen institutional arrangements for monitoring the implementation of the
Millennium Development Goals for women and girls, ensure transparency, in this regard,
by making available relevant information and support women’s full and effective
participation and leadership in monitoring.

43. The Commission urges States to build on the lessons from the implementation of the
Millennium Development Goals as the new post-2015 development agenda is being shaped.  It urges States to tackle critical remaining challenges through a transformative and comprehensive approach and calls for gender equality, the empowerment of women and human rights of women and girls to be reflected as a stand-alone goal and to be integrated through targets and indicators into all goals of any new development framework.

44. The Commission also urges all States and all other stakeholders to undertake comprehensive national and regional level reviews of the progress made and challenges encountered in the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the outcomes of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly so that the outcomes of these reviews can effectively feed into its fifty-ninth session, in 2015. The Commission especially encourages all stakeholders to analyze current challenges and identify opportunities for accelerating actions to achieve gender equality, the empowerment of women and the realization of human rights of women and girls, and to undertake appropriate commemorative activities for the twentieth anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women.

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