European Union External Action

EU hosts meeting on UN Women report "World's Women 2019-2020"

18/09/2019 - 18:09
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The EU Delegation hosted on 18 September 2019 a meeting with Shahra Razavi, UN Women Director of Research and Data, to discuss the recently-published UN Women flagship report “Progress of the World’s Women 2019-2020 - Families in a Changing World.”

UN Women Photo Essay: Cielo Gomez and her family in the municipality of El Tablón de Gómez, Colombia. Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown

Opening the discussion, Ambassador Hallergard, Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to the UN in Geneva underlined that "families, in all their diversity, can be both: critical drivers of gender equality as well as breeding grounds of conflict, inequality and violence."

The EU and UN Women have been collaborating to empower and protect the rights of women and girls since UN Women was established. The EU is strongly committed to gender equality, the empowerment of women of all ages and the elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls around the world. Significant progress has been made EU-wide: 92% of all new initiatives adopted in the area of the EU's foreign policy have been marked as significantly aiming at promoting gender equality and/or women empowerment.

Ms Razavi presented the key take aways from the report, which is based on global data and case studies. Overall, "positive progress is notable in women’s increased access to resources, through earned income for example." However, access remains unequally distributed and with a persistent pay gap. Likewise, the distribution of unpaid care work remains very unequal: the report finds that "women do 3 times the amount of unpaid care and domestic work within families, with particularly stark inequalities in developing-country contexts."

Despite global civil and legal efforts, "violence against women and girls in families persists at astonishingly high rates across world regions. In 2017, an estimated 58% of all female victims of intentional homicide were killed by a member of their own family, amounting to 137 women killed each day."

With a special focus on families as institutions, the report documents a significant diversity in family constellations throughout all world regions: "Families today do not take a single form, nor did they in the past. Only a little over 1/3 of households globally (38%) consist of a couple with children – and even these households are far from homogeneous." The report touches upon emerging family constellations, with many world regions having legally recognized same-sex partnership forms, but little documentation is yet been done in this regard.

Progress of the World’s Women 2019-2020 - Families in a Changing World

UN Women, Progress of the World’s Women 2019-2020 - Families in a Changing World

Shahra Razavi responded that the report strongly indicated that "policies make a difference - they however need to catch up with current realities of today's family life in a fast changing world."


Further Reading:
Progress of the Worlds Women - Report
EU Action for Women

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