CSW56 highlights role of sexual and reproductive health on road to gender equality

27 FEBRUARY – 9 MARCH 2012 | NEW YORK

PMNCH members have joined government officials, rural women, representatives of the United Nations and civil society, the media and the private sector to discuss challenges faced by women living in rural areas at the 56th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW56) at UN headquarters in New York.

The Commission convenes annually to review progress, share experiences and good practices, analyse gaps and challenges and agree on priority actions to accelerate the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action and the achievement of gender equality. This year's session focuses on the empowerment of rural women and their role in poverty and hunger eradication, development and current challenges.

An introductory statement delivered by UN Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet at the opening of the two-week session drew attention to a report in development on the Joint work plan of UN Women and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and another important UN report on women, the girl child and HIV and AIDS.

"We will examine actions to strengthen linkages among programmes, initiatives and activities throughout the United Nations system for gender equality, the empowerment of women and girls, protection of all of their human rights and elimination of preventable maternal mortality and morbidity," Ms Bachelet said. "The right to sexual and reproductive health is fundamental to women’s empowerment and gender equality."

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