Equality by 2030
Left: Panelists at the session on the Place of Sport for Women's Empowerment included (from left) Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, executive director of UN Women; Antonio de Aguair Patriota, permanent representative of Brazil to the UN; and Nodar (Nono) Andguladze, head of social projects for the Georgia Rugby Union.
Right: Figure skater and Olympic medalist Michelle Kwan (right) talks to Soon-Young Yoon, chair of the NGO CSW, before the start of the panel discussion on women and sports. Kwan said, "You don't have to be an Olympian or a professional athlete to learn important life lessons from sports. Sports teaches hard work, team work, perseverance. That makes you stronger and more prepared for whatever and wherever life takes you. ... It's not about giving a girl a ball to play with. It is so much more than that. It is about giving a girl an opportunity to dream."
Notre Dame of Maryland students (front row from left) Elikem Yorm Kudjawu, Beth Hancock, Barbara Newman and Jussara Kramer; (back row) Megan Donegan and Mia Diamond.
From left, Notre Dame of Maryland Associate Professor Susan Barber and Sisters Sharon Kanis and Eileen Reilly in a conference chamber at the UN.
While significant advances have been made in achieving the 12 critical areas of concern outlined in the Beijing Platform, progress is still moving too slowly, said Lakshmi Puri, assistant secretary-general of the United Nations and deputy executive director of UN Women.
“Assessments show that we have made progress, but we are not there yet,” Puri said during the UN NGO briefing Monday at the Commission on the Status of Women. “This is something we celebrate, but we must take it forward.
“At the present rate of progress, it will take another century, and we cannot wait. That is not acceptable.”
In adopting the new Political Declaration reaffirming commitment to the outcome of the 1995 Beijing women's conference, the CSW set a target date of 2030 for achieving gender equality. The Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality campaign asks governments to make national commitments to address the challenges that are holding women and girls back from reaching their full potential.
Civil society, which includes NGOs like the School Sisters of Notre Dame, is key to helping achieve these goals.
“It is important to stress that we have been strong advocates of civil society – their role, voice, leadership, consultation in all processes of the CSW,” Puri said. “We greatly value your contribution and the fact that you bring unique valued added to our work.
“This is a very strong target date that has been set,” Puri said. “That is why we have a Step It Up campaign and need your support. You are the ones who will help us reach Planet 50-50 by 2030.”