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Tuesday, September 29, 2015, Aswin 14, 1422 BS, Zilhaj 14, 1436 Hijr

Women can be agent of change for SDG: PM
Banani Mallick
Published :Tuesday, 29 September, 2015,  Time : 12:00 AM  View Count : 103
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has called upon the global leaders to take a vow to achieve gender parity in all aspects and make the world a better place for women and girls.
?Women and girls can be the agent of change in creating an environment for sustainable development?, she asserted.
Expressing her government's strong political will to move forward with gender equality and women's empowerment, she said Bangladesh is pledge-bound to continue for the socioeconomic and political empowerment of the women and higher education for girls.
"We shall continue to work for ending all forms of discrimination and violence against women. We shall also create an environment for all women and girls as agents of change," she made this comment at a landmark event on "Global Leaders' Meeting on Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment: A Commitment to Action" jointly co-hosted by UN Women and the Chinese government in conjunction with the UN Summit on the post-2015 development framework.
The event started at 9 a.m at Conference Room 4 of the UN Headquarters, New York, on Sunday to adopt Agenda 2030 and its Sustainable Development Goals.
She also noted that the sustainable development agendas can bring positive changes to the lives of the women and girls if they avail opportunities and scopes, a UN Women source shared it from the summit.
"It is our commitment to work towards (women and girls) social, economic and political empowerment. We will give more of our girls' higher education. We shall create more opportunities and access for our women to participate in politics, business and government," Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina also said.
Referring to the much talked- about issue on child marriage, she also said that her government has taken a couple of plans to eliminate of child marriage by 2014.
Some 80 world leaders are convening at the United Nations to personally commit to ending discrimination against women by 2030 and announce concrete and measurable actions to kick-start rapid change in their countries.
The programme was part of the 20th anniversary commemoration of the Beijng Declaration and Platform for Action.
Xi Jinping, President of China, opened the event.
He said, "We still have a long way to go in achieving gender equality? The international community should reaffirm the spirit of the Beijing Conference with renewed commitment and pledge greater efforts to promote gender equality and women's all-round development? China will do more to enhance gender equality as its basic State policy, give play to women's important role as 'half of the sky' and support them in realizing their own dreams and aspirations in both career and life. The Chinese women, through their own development, will also play a greater part in the global women's movement and make greater contributions to gender equality in the world," according to the source.
President Xi Jinping announced that to support women's development worldwide and the work of UN Women, China will contribute USD 10 million for the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the realization of the related goals in the post-2015 development agenda.
President Xi further said China will support women and girls in other developing countries by providing health care, vocational training, financing for education and other assistance.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in his opening remarks, directly addressed the assembled world leaders, saying: "As Heads of State and Government you have the power and the responsibility to ensure that gender equality is-and remains-a national priority."
He continued to outline three areas for action: "First, I urge you to create and energetically implement coherent gender equality policies. Second, provide significant financing for gender equality so that commitments become reality. And third, monitor progress so that all governments will hold themselves and each other accountable for the pledges made here today."
"The highest leaders in the land are taking personal responsibility for their commitment to gender equality and the empowerment of women," emphasized UN Under-Secretary-General and UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.
"Now the world looks up to them to lead the game-changing actions that secure and sustain implementation. Today we take the first firm steps towards 25 September, 2030."
As the first world leader to speak at the principal segment, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said: "We need women for peace, we need women for development.
This is what we emphasized at this year's G7 Summit with our commitment to women's empowerment and initiative to provide vocational training and entrepreneurial opportunities for women in developing countries... In Germany ... we have expanded child care and we finally have a law on women in leadership positions ... We all committed in 1995 to implement the Beijing Platform for Action. Now we are making a new commitment with Sustainable Development Goal. Commitments are good. Action is better. Let us take action!"
While actions announced will vary, they are expected to align behind a common message: The Sustainable Development Goals cannot be achieved without gender equality. If countries act immediately to translate the goals into action, and close many remaining gaps in implementing the landmark 1995 Beijing Platform for Action, the world could reach gender equality by 2030.
Besides government representatives, participants include champions of gender equality from civil society, the business world and multilateral organizations.
The Global Leaders' Meeting is the culmination of an 18-month long journey, spearheaded by UN Women, to review the status of implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action on its 20th anniversary.
A record 167 countries undertook national reviews that assessed progress and gaps as a basis for new national action plans to accelerate achievement of women's empowerment and gender equality.

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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