[Brussels, November 2020] Ahead of the 65th session of the Commission on the Status of Women, the European Women’s Lobby has prepared a statement to address the situation of women’s rights in 2020.
CSW65 will take place in a particular context: due to the current pandemic, CSW64 had to be scaled down to a one-day meeting and CSW65 will probably mostly happen online. Therefore, it is more important than ever to ensure the full and concrete participation of women’s right’s organisations during CSW65. We also must not forget that the cancellation of all events during CSW in 2020 meant the absence of a fundamental space for women’s rights’ organisations to review and celebrate 25 years of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action – we hope CSW65 will serve to remedy to this.
We hope this year’s theme - Women’s full and effective participation and decision-making in public life, as well as the elimination of violence, for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls - will allow the space to explore issues that were put aside due to last year’s cancellation, and to also raise the major impact of the current pandemic on women’s rights in all areas.
Due to the Covid-19 crisis, women have had to face more violence, mostly within their own homes, and – as they were in the frontlines – were even more marginalised from spaces of decision-making, resulting in decisions that were not always adapted to their specific circumstances.
It is high time to recognise that the current political responses to violence against women and girls have been insufficient until now and governments’ world-wide must multiply the efforts to ensure the commitments made 25 years ago in the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action are met.
Women’s full, effective participation in public and political life, decision-making and leadership is also crucial to eliminating male violence against women and girls. Representation and participation of women in all areas of decision-making are necessary to ensure their lived experiences and specific challenges are taken into account. Therefore, we demand that all Member States adopt both legislative and non-legislative measures to ensure our public and political representatives reflect the potential experiences, skills, interests, needs and visions of all components of humanity and the richness of the world we live in.
With this statement, we call on the EU, UN and all governments to work on immediate and long-term measures and commitments to achieve concrete positive change. We call on the leadership of the EU and the United Nations (UN) to proactively seize this opportunity and to play a vital role in responding to the pandemic in providing the grounds for the future of the world that is more inclusive of women’s needs and vision, and therefore more equal and sustainable for all.