Wednesday, May 9, 2018

CSW62 (2018) Agreed conclusions 9/10

Implement economic and social policies for the empowerment of all rural women and girls

m. Design, implement and pursue gender-responsive economic and social policies that aim to, inter alia, eradicate poverty, including in rural areas, and combat feminization of poverty, ensure the full and equal participation of rural women in the development, implementation and follow-up of development policies and programmes and poverty eradication strategies, support increased rural employment and decent work, and promote the participation of women at all levels and sectors of the rural economy and in diverse on-farm and off-farm economic activities, including sustainable agricultural and fisheries production;

n. Pursue macro-economic policies that support diverse economic activities, including smallholder agricultural production and the food security and nutrition of all rural women and girls and their communities by fostering the positive and mitigating the negative impact of international investment and trade rules;

o. Emphasize the need for business enterprises, including transnational corporations and others, to identify, prevent, mitigate and account for human rights abuses by their operations, products or services on the wellbeing of women and girls in rural areas and provide for or cooperate in their remediation;    p. Design and implement and pursue fiscal policies that, inter alia, promote gender equality and the empowerment of all rural women and girls, inter alia, by facilitating greater access to social protection and financial and business services, including credit, for women in rural areas, in particular women heads of households;

q. 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;    r. Mainstream a gender perspective, and include sustainable agricultural and fisheries development issues, in national agricultural and rural development policies, strategies, plans and programmes, enabling rural women to act and be visible as stakeholders, decision makers and beneficiaries, taking into account the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security and the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication;    s. Strengthen and support the critical role and contributions of rural women, including women farmers and fishers and farm workers, to enhancing sustainable agricultural and rural development, eradicating poverty, achieving food security and improved nutrition and the economic well-being of their families and communities; ensure their equal access to agricultural technologies that are affordable, durable, sustainable and accessible to women farmers and fishers, through investment, the transfer of technology on mutually agreed terms,  and  support research and development and integrated and multisectoral policies to improve their productive capacity and incomes, strengthen their resilience, and address the existing gaps in and barriers to trading their products in national, regional and international markets;

t. Strengthen national, regional and international efforts, as appropriate, to enhance the capacity of developing countries to support rural women farmers, including smallholder farmers, and those in subsistence farming and fisheries, horticulture and livestock to achieve food security and improved nutrition, including through appropriate mechanization in agriculture, sustainable agricultural practices,and education and training on vaccination and management techniques and public and private investment to close the gender gap in agriculture and facilitate rural women’s access to extension and financial services, agricultural inputs, land, water and irrigation;    u. Strengthen sustainable production and consumption patterns, including family farming, respecting and protecting traditional and ancestral knowledge and practices of rural women in particular the preservation, production, use and exchange of endemic and native seeds, and supporting alternatives to the heavy use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides harmful to the health of rural women and girls and their communities;

v. Invest in and strengthen efforts to empower rural women as important actors in achieving food security and improved nutrition,  ensuring that their right to food is met, including by supporting rural women’s participation in all areas of economic activity, including commercial and artisan fisheries and aquaculture, promoting decent working conditions and personal security, facilitating sustainable access to and use of critical rural infrastructure, land, water and natural resources, and local, regional and global markets, and valuing rural women’s, including indigenous women’s, traditional and ancestral knowledge and contributions to the conservation and sustainable use of terrestrial and marine biodiversity, for present and future generations;    w. Ensure integrated food and nutritional support for rural women and girls, including those who are pregnant and breast-feeding, and their access at all times to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food requirements for an active and healthy life;    x. Invest in provision of and access to quality, resilient and gender responsive infrastructure and time- and labour-saving technologies, information and communication technologies (ICTs), safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems, affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy, and safe drinking water and sanitation for all, including through technology transfer on mutually agreed terms, to improve the lives, livelihoods and wellbeing of all rural women and girls;

y. Promote women’s leadership and their full, effective and equal participation in decision-making on water and sanitation and household energy management and to ensure that a gender-based approach is adopted in relation to water and sanitation and energy programmes, through measures, inter alia, to reduce the time spent by women and girls in collecting household water and fuel, and to address the negative impact of inadequate water and sanitation and energy services on the access of girls to education as well as to protect women and girls from being physically threatened or assaulted and from sexual violence while collecting household water  and fuel and when accessing sanitation facilities outside of their home or practising open defecation; 
 z. Commit to encourage urban-rural interactions and connectivity and eliminate geographic and territorial disparities by strengthening gender-responsive sustainable and affordable transport and mobility, technology and communication networks and infrastructure, underpinned by planning instruments with a gender perspective, based on an integrated urban and territorial approach that maximizes the potential of these sectors for enhanced productivity, social, economic, and territorial cohesion, as well as safety and environmental sustainability; 

aa. Optimize fiscal expenditures to extend social protection coverage to all rural women and girls and establish nationally appropriate social protection floors to ensure access to social protection, without discrimination of any kind, and take measures to ensure sustainable, long-term financial support for social protection systems and make information on social protection measures and benefits widely available and accessible to all rural women and girls bearing in mind that social protection policies play a critical role in reducing poverty and inequality and supporting inclusive growth and contribute to the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls, including those living in rural areas; 

bb. Protect and promote the right to work and rights at work of all rural women in both agricultural and non-agricultural employment, taking into consideration international labour standards and national labour laws, including by setting wages that allow for an adequate standard of living, implementing policies and enforcing regulations that promote decent work and uphold the principle of equal pay for equal work or work of equal value, and taking measures to address gender-based discrimination, occupational segregation, the gender pay gap and unsafe and unhealthy working conditions;

cc. Promote the economic empowerment of rural women and the transition of rural women from the informal to the formal economy by improving their skills, productivity and employment opportunities including through technical, agricultural, fisheries and vocational training, including their financial and digital literacy and facilitate the entry and re-entry of all rural women, especially young women, into the labour force;    dd. Encourage and facilitate rural women’s entrepreneurship and expand opportunities for their enterprises, cooperatives and self-help groups, to diversify and increase  their productivity by engaging in sustainable agriculture, fisheries, aquaculture, including mariculture, cultural and creative industries and other areas of economic activity, and improving access to financing and investment, technology and infrastructure, training and diverse markets;

ee. Increase trade and procurement from rural women’s enterprises, cooperatives and women-owned businesses,  by building the capacities and skills of rural women, especially young women, to benefit from public and private sector procurement processes, including public food programmes, and fostering their access to local, national and international value chains and markets; 

ff. Take measures to facilitate the financial inclusion and financial literacy of rural women and their equal access to formal financial services, including timely and affordable credit, loans, savings, insurance, and remittance transfer schemes, integrate a gender perspective in finance sector policy and regulations, in accordance with national priorities and legislation, encourage financial institutions, such as commercial banks, development banks, agricultural banks, micro-finance institutions, mobile network operators, agent networks, cooperatives, postal banks and saving banks, to provide access to financial products, services and information to rural women, and encourage the use of innovative tools and platforms, including online and mobile banking; 

gg. Recognize, reduce and redistribute rural women and girls disproportionate share of unpaid care and domestic work, as well as contributions to on-farm and off-farm production, by promoting policies and initiatives supporting the reconciliation of work and family life and the equal sharing of responsibilities between women and men, through flexibility in working arrangements without reductions in labour and social protections, and through the provision of infrastructure, technology and public services, such as water and sanitation, renewable energy, transport and information and communications technology, as well as accessible, affordable and quality childcare and care facilities and maternity, paternity or parental leave and by challenging gender stereotypes and negative social norms and facilitating men’s increased participation in unpaid care and domestic work and family responsibilities, including as fathers and caregivers; 

hh. Take steps to measure the value of unpaid care and domestic work in order to determine its contribution to the national economy, for example through periodic time-use surveys, and include such measurements in statistics as well as in the formulation of gender-responsive economic and social policies;    ii. Invest in and strengthen family-oriented policies and programmes in rural areas that provide the necessary support and protection and are responsive to the diverse, specific and changing needs of rural women and girls and their family, as well as address the imbalances, risks and barriers that they face in enjoying their rights and protect all family members against any form of violence; as these policies and programmes are important tools for, inter alia, fighting poverty, social exclusion and inequality, promoting work-family balance and gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls and advancing social integration and intergenerational solidarity;

jj. Promote and respect women’s and girls’ right to education at all levels, throughout the life cycle, including women and girls living in rural areas and those who have been left furthest behind, by providing universal access to quality education, and free and compulsory primary and secondary education, ensuring inclusive, equal and non-discriminatory quality education, promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all, eliminating female illiteracy, and striving to ensure the completion of early childhood, primary,  and secondary education and expanding vocational and technical education for rural women and girls; and foster, as appropriate, intercultural and multilingual education for all; 
kk. Eliminate gender disparities and commit to scale up financing and investments in public education systems to fulfill the right to education for women and girls in rural areas by addressing gender-based discrimination, negative social norms and gender stereotypes in education systems, including in curricula, textbooks and teaching methodologies; combat gender norms that devalue girls’ education and prevent women and girls from accessing education; provide inclusive, safe, non-violent and accessible schools with gender- and disability-sensitive infrastructure, including lighting, and safe, accessible and affordable transportation to school; maintain separate and adequate sanitation facilities; train, recruit and retain qualified teachers in rural areas, especially women teachers where they are underrepresented; support rural women and girls with disabilities at all levels of education and training; ensure that rural women and girls have equal access to career development, training, scholarships and fellowships, and promote an effective transition from education or unemployment to decent work and active participation in public life;

ll. Take steps to promote educational and health practices in order to foster a culture in which menstruation is recognized as healthy and natural, and girls are not stigmatised on this basis, recognising that girls’ attendance at school can be affected by negative perceptions of menstruation and lack of means to maintain safe personal hygiene, such as water, sanitation and hygiene facilities in schools that meet the needs of girls; 

mm. Ensure that pregnant adolescents and young mothers, as well as single mothers, can continue and complete their education, and in this regard, design, implement and, where applicable, revise educational policies to allow them to remain in and return to school, providing them with access to health-care and social services and support, including childcare and breastfeeding facilities and crèches, and to education programmes with accessible locations, flexible schedules and distance education, including e-learning, and bearing in mind the important role and responsibilities of, and challenges faced by, fathers, including young fathers, in this regard; 

nn. Intensify efforts to prevent and eliminate violence and sexual harassment against girls at, and on the way to, school, including, inter alia, by implementing effective violence prevention and response activities in schools and communities, engaging men and boys, educating children from a young age regarding the importance of treating all people with dignity and respect, designing educational
programmes and teaching materials that support gender equality, respectful relationships and nonviolent behaviour;

oo. Develop policies and programmes with the support, where appropriate, of international organizations, civil society and non-governmental organizations, giving priority to formal, informal and non-formal education programmes, including scientifically accurate and age-appropriate comprehensive education, relevant to cultural contexts, that provides adolescent girls and boys and young women and men in and out of school, consistent with their evolving capacities, and with appropriate direction and guidance from parents and legal guardians, with the best interests of the child as their basic concern, information on sexual and reproductive health and HIV prevention, gender equality and women’s empowerment, human rights, physical, psychological and pubertal development and power in relationships between women and men, to enable them to build self-esteem and informed decision-making, communication and risk reduction skills and to develop respectful relationships, in full partnership with young persons, parents, legal guardians, caregivers, educators and health-care providers, in order to, inter alia, enable them to protect themselves from HIV infection and other risks;

pp. Address the digital divide, which disproportionately affects rural women and girls, by facilitating their access to ICT and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education to promote their empowerment and to develop skills, information and knowledge that are needed to support their labour market entry, livelihoods, well-being and resilience and expand the scope of ICTenabled mobile learning and literacy training while promoting a safe and secure cyberspace for women and girls;   
qq. Strengthen measures, including resource generation, to improve women’s health, including maternal health, by addressing the specific health, nutrition and basic needs of rural women and taking concrete measures to realize the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standards of physical and mental health for women of all ages in rural areas, as well as quality, affordable, available and universally accessible primary health care and support services; 
rr. Increase financial investments in quality, affordable and accessible health-care systems and facilities and safe, effective, quality, essential, and affordable medicines and vaccines for all and health technologies, including through community outreach and private sector engagement, and with the support of the international community, towards achieving each country’s path towards universal health coverage for all rural women and girls; 
ss. Increase investments in a more effective and socially accountable health workforce and address the shortage and inequitable distribution of doctors, surgeons, midwives, nurses and other healthcare workers in rural areas, by promoting decent work with adequate remuneration and incentives to secure the presence in rural and remote areas of qualified health-care professionals, enabling safe working environments and conditions, and expanding rural and community-based health education and training and strengthening education for health professionals; 
 tt. Take measures to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity, as well as neonatal, infant and child mortality and morbidity,  in rural areas and increase access to quality health care before, during and after pregnancy and childbirth to all rural women and girls through interventions such as training and equipping community health workers, nurses, midwives, to provide basic pre- and post-natal care and emergency obstetric care, inter alia, by providing voluntary, informed family planning and empowering women and communities to identify risk factors and complications of pregnancy and childbirth and facilitate access to health facilities; 

uu. Ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights in accordance with the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and the Beijing Platform for Action and the outcome documents of their review conferences, including universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services, including for family planning, information and education, and the integration of reproductive health into national strategies and programmes, and recognizing that the human rights of women include their right to have control over and decide freely and responsibly on all matters related to their sexuality, including sexual and reproductive health, free of coercion, discrimination and violence, as a contribution to the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of women and the realization of their human rights;

vv. Intensify national and international efforts to improve public health, strengthen health care systems, and increase the availability of motivated, well-trained and appropriately equipped health professionals and health workers, as well as access to health facilities, including access to diagnosis services, and for the prevention, treatment and care of non-communicable and communicable diseases, as well as neglected tropical diseases, by integrating gender-based approaches for the prevention and control of diseases based on data disaggregated by sex, age and other characteristics relevant in national contexts; 

ww. Strengthen efforts to achieve universal access to HIV and AIDS prevention, treatment, care and support for all women and girls, including those living in rural areas, living with, at risk of, or affected by HIV and AIDS, including co-infections and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and address their specific needs and concerns without stigma or discrimination, and promote the active and meaningful participation, contribution and leadership of women and girls living with HIV and AIDS in rural and remote areas in HIV and AIDS responses;

 xx. Devise, strengthen and implement comprehensive anti-trafficking strategies that integrate a human rights and sustainable development perspective, and enforce, as appropriate, legal frameworks, in a gender- and age-sensitive manner, to combat and eliminate all forms of trafficking in persons, raise public awareness of the issue of trafficking in persons, in particular women and girls, take measures to reduce the vulnerability of women and girls to modern slavery and sexual exploitation, provide access, as applicable, to protection and reintegration assistance to victims of trafficking in persons and enhance international cooperation, inter alia, to counter, with a view to eliminating, the demand that fosters all forms of exploitation, including sexual exploitation and forced labour; 

yy. Strengthen and build the resilience and adaptive capacity of all rural women and girls to respond to and recover from economic, social and environmental shocks and disasters, humanitarian emergencies and adverse impacts of climate change, natural disasters and extreme weather events by providing essential infrastructure, services, appropriate financing, technology, and social protection, humanitarian relief, forecast and early warning systems, and decent work for women; 

zz. Develop and adopt gender-responsive strategies on mitigation and adaptation to climate change to support the resilience and adaptive capacities of women and girls to respond to the adverse impacts of climate change, through, inter alia, the promotion of their health and well-being, as well as access to sustainable livelihoods, and the provision of adequate resources to ensure women’s full participation in decision-making at all levels on environmental issues, in particular on strategies and policies related to the adverse impacts of climate change, and ensuring the integration of their specific needs into humanitarian responses to natural disasters, into the planning, delivery and monitoring of disaster risk reduction policies and into sustainable natural resources management;

aaa. Promote and protect the rights of indigenous women and girls living in rural and remote areas by addressing the multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination and barriers they face, including violence, ensuring access to quality and inclusive education, health care, public services, economic
resources, including land and natural resources, and women’s access to decent work, and promoting their meaningful participation in the economy and in decision-making processes at all levels and in all areas, while respecting and protecting their traditional and ancestral knowledge, and noting the importance of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples for indigenous women and girls; 

bbb. Promote and protect the rights of older women in rural areas by ensuring their equal access to social, legal, and financial services, infrastructure, health care, social protection, and economic resources and their full and equal participation in decision making; 

ccc. Promote and protect the rights of women and girls with disabilities in rural areas, who face multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination, including by ensuring access on an equal basis with others, to economic and financial resources and disability-inclusive and accessible social infrastructure, transportation, justice mechanisms and services, in particular in relation to health and education and productive employment and decent work for women with disabilities, as well as by ensuring that the priorities and rights of women and girls with disabilities are fully incorporated into policies and programmes, and that they are closely consulted and actively involved in decision-making processes; 

ddd. Promote and protect the rights of Afro-descendant rural women and girls, including, where applicable the recognition of their lands and territories, and mainstream a gender perspective when designing and monitoring public policies, taking into account the specific needs and realities of rural women and girls of African descent;    eee. Strengthen the capacity of national statistical offices and other relevant government institutions to collect, analyse and disseminate data, disaggregated by sex, age, disability and other characteristics relevant in national contexts, and gender statistics, to support policies and actions to improve the situation of rural women and girls, and to monitor and track the implementation of such policies and actions, and enhance partnerships and the mobilization, from all sources, of financial and technical assistance to enable developing countries to systematically design, collect and ensure access to highquality, reliable and timely disaggregated data and gender statistics;

fff.  Promote gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls by reaffirming the commitments made in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development, pursuing policy coherence and an enabling environment for sustainable development at all levels and by all actors and reinvigorating the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development;

ggg. Take steps to significantly increase investment to close resource gaps, including through the mobilization of financial resources from all sources, including public, private, domestic and international resource mobilization and allocation, including by enhancing revenue administration through modernized, progressive tax systems, improved tax policy, more efficient tax collection, and increased priority on gender equality and the empowerment of women in official development assistance to build on progress achieved, and ensure that official development assistance is used effectively to accelerate the achievement of of gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls;

hhh. Urge developed countries to fully implement their respective official development assistance commitments, including the commitment made by many developed countries to achieve the target of 0.7 per cent of their gross national income for official development assistance to developing countries and the target of 0.15 to 0.20 per cent of their gross national income for official development assistance to the 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 the empowerment of rural women and girls; 

iii. Strengthen international cooperation, including 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 invite all 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 rural women and girls;


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