|UNITED NATIONS, Mar. 26, 2018 -- The United Nations' largest annual gathering on gender equality and women's rights concluded Friday with member states making a strong commitment to gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls.
The agreed conclusions adopted at the end of the 62nd session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) put forth concrete measures to lift rural women and girls out of poverty and to ensure their rights, well-being and resilience.
The final document asks for reforms to eliminate discriminatory laws and norms for women so that they have equal access to land and productive assets.
It calls for decent jobs for rural women with equal pay for work of equal value, and demands that they participate equally in all decisions, from households to community forums.
The document calls for the provision of essential rural infrastructure and technology, including safe drinking water, a clean stove, sanitation facilities and connectivity.
It asks for progress toward strong educational environments at all levels, including the closing of gender gaps in secondary and tertiary education in rural areas, and the provision of quality social services and care services to reduce the disproportionate share of unpaid care and domestic work of rural women and girls.
It urges member states to step up investments to ensure food security and nutrition for rural women and girls, as well as increased financial inclusion and access to financial services for women farmers.
It calls for the provision of universal health coverage, including their sexual and reproductive health and respect for their reproductive rights.
The document calls for accelerated action to end all forms of violence against women, including harmful practices such as child marriage and female genital mutilation.
The CSW, a functional commission of the UN Economic and Social Council, is the single largest forum for UN member states, civil society organizations and other international actors to build consensus and commitment on policy actions toward gender equality and women's rights.
More than 4,300 representatives from over 600 civil society organizations, and 170 members attended this year's commission meeting.