Each year, thousands of women and men gather from around the world at the United Nations to focus on gender equality issues and fight for the empowerment of women. The Commission on the Status of Women, or CSW, now in it’s sixtieth session, gathers ideas and voices to benchmark each year the world’s progress on equal rights between the genders.
A highlight of this year’s CSW event calendar was a high-level event that focused on the implementation of United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon’s Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health under the umbrella of his Every Woman Every Child initiative. This strategy provides a compelling path for the world to ensure, through a greater emphasis on gender equality and rights, a more prosperous and sustainable society for us all.
What is Every Women Every Child and why does it matter?
Every Woman Every Child is an unprecedented global movement that mobilizes and intensifies international and national action by governments, the UN, countries, businesses and broader society to address the major health challenges facing women, children and adolescents.
What is the global strategy?
It is a road map to end preventable deaths of women, children and adolescents by 2030 – a pathway to unlocking the potential of these groups of the human family. Three objectives make up the global strategy:
- Survive (end preventable deaths)
- Thrive (ensure health and well-being)
- Transform (expand environments that create opportunity)
The objectives are fully integrated with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs – aka the global goals. With appropriate funding and commitment, the strategy will lead to:
- An end to preventable deaths of mothers from pregnancy and childbirth complications, newborn, child and adolescent deaths including stillbirth
- Social and economic impacts that would provide at least a ten-fold return on investments
- The chance for all women, children and youth an equal chance to survive and thrive
Adding our voices
I was privileged to attend this event along with several others who are passionate about the health and well-being of all mothers and their children. Being at the UN is always a special experience. Its halls are bustling with people who are trying with all their energy to make a better world, and you can feel that sense of urgency around every corner.
We each have a chance to show our support, whether it’s sharing an article on social media, talking to our children at the dinner table, or getting involved on a deeper level by making donations, calling our elected officials and calling on support for this work. We are all part of this movement that affects mothers and children everywhere.
Take Action Challenge
Read the full event recap at EveryWomenEveryChild.org, follow on Twitter and Facebook to add your support to this far-reaching plan of action for all women, children and youth around the world, and be sure to check out the hashtag #EWECisMe, because we’re in this together!
Lead photo of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon giving a speech at the EWECisME event in New York. Photograph by UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe