7-8 JUNE 2017 / Tour & Taxis / Brussels

Gender equality/Women empowerment

Social norms and discriminatory legal frameworks in many countries still leave women and girls with little control over decisions that affect their lives. They continue to be deprived of access to resources and their rightful voice. They are less likely than men to be in education, training or paid work. Even in regions and countries where significant progress has been made towards achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, some achievements are vulnerable and can be undermined.

Sustainable development is highly dependent on women’s voices being heard and women participating fully in the economy and decision-making. Fulfilling women’s rights translates into more peaceful and prosperous communities. Gender equality is vital for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and cuts across the whole 2030 Agenda. The EU is a global leader in promoting gender equality. It is vigorously pursuing its commitment to support partner countries in breaking the vicious cycle of gender discrimination and consistently promoting women and girls' empowerment through the comprehensive, results-oriented EU Gender Action Plan 2016-2020, Transforming the Lives of Girls and Women through EU External Relations.

Concrete actions undertaken by the EU and its Member States include promoting economic and social rights and empowerment for women and girls, strengthening their voice, and ensuring their physical and psychological integrity. There is special attention to improving education and training opportunities for women and girls as well as their access to financial services and support for micro, small and medium enterprises. When women obtain access to the same productive resources as men, they can increase yields on their farms by 20-30 % and raise total agricultural outputs, potentially lifting 100-150 million people out of hunger worldwide.

Gender equality is at the core of EU values and enshrined in its legal and political framework. The EU and its Member States will pursue the fulfilment of obligations under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. They remain committed to the promotion, protection and fulfilment of all human rights and to the full and effective implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action and Cairo Programme of Action, of the International Conference on Population and Development and the outcomes of their review conferences and remain committed to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in this context.

Nevertheless, all of these commitments need to be translated into clear and tangible outcomes and accompanied by adequate means and procedures apt for delivering results, with more women occupying leadership roles. Sustainable development cannot be achieved if half of the world’s population is left behind.

Related sessions

Gender equality/Women empowerment
auditorium A1
7 June
18:00 to 19:30
Gender equality/Women empowerment
debate D4
7 June
16:15 to 17:30
Gender equality/Women empowerment
debate D3
8 June
10:45 to 12:00
Gender equality/Women empowerment
brainstorming B1
8 June
15:15 to 16:30
Gender equality/Women empowerment
stand
Gender equality/Women empowerment
stand
Gender equality/Women empowerment
stand
Gender equality/Women empowerment
creative youth activities Youth Lounge
7 June
14:00 to 14:30
Gender equality/Women empowerment
creative youth activities Youth Lounge
8 June
11:00 to 12:00
Gender equality/Women empowerment
creative youth activities Youth Lounge
8 June
15:30 to 16:00