With the CSW 63 still ongoing, topics ranged from societal aspects of femininity, to the effect of economic forces on the gender gap, to the role of government in advancing women’s rights. The Deputy Permanent Observer of the Holy See claimed the identity of a woman is based on her biological characteristics. He expressed his beliefs that people who do not identify with their gender make a conscious choice to do so. Mary Rice Hasson, Director of the Catholic Women’s Forum, also talked about the topic. She defined sex by the reproductive capacity of a person, but did not comment on what this meant for women born with an inability to carry a fetus or those who have gone through menopause.
Other topics touched on the economic aspects of gender inequality. The specific breakdown of these factors included ownership of enterprises, ownership of land, especially in places where it is often used as collateral, income, with women earning half of what men earn in some countries, lack of account ownership, and education. Even in places where girls receive the same amount of schooling as boys, they often score lower on literacy due to responsibilities at home and social pressure.
What are the roles of the public and private sector? A large fund in Africa, FSDT, has shown that private projects, even those in developing countries where economic problems are often more severe, can do a great deal in addressing the gap. The fund focuses on agricultural and rural finance, digital finance, enterprise finance, and insurance. It works with women in rural areas without access to financial resources. The role of government can also be pronounced. For example, Tanzania’s central government has invested in female projects, planned strategies to mobilize women, and worked on ensuring that money is given to women.
Meeting: Overview of the 63rd Commission on the Status of Women for March 20th
Date/Location: Wednesday March 20, 2019; United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY
Speakers: Various CSW speakers
Written by: WIT Representative Bertina Kudrin