Statement submitted by Association de l'Intervention pour les Mères and Women's Federation for World Peace International, non-governmental organizations in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council*
The Secretary-General has received the following statement, which is being circulated in accordance with paragraphs 36 and 37 of Economic and Social Council resolution 1996/31.
Download Official NGO Statement to CSW61 by AIM & WFWPI
Women's Federation for World Peace, International, as a non-governmental organization in general consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, commends the priority theme of the 61st session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women: Women's economic empowerment in the changing world of work. As the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Preamble states: "…We are determined to take the bold and transformative steps which are urgently needed to shift the world onto a sustainable and resilient path. As we embark on this collective journey, we pledge that no one will be left behind…seek to realize the human rights of all and to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls. They are integrated and indivisible and balance the three dimensions of sustainable development: the economic, social and environmental."
To make Sustainable Development Goal #5.5, "Ensure women's full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision making in political, economic and public life" a reality, it is necessary to empower and encourage women to join in the task of leading locally, nationally and internationally. Some suggest that because women populate half the planet, they should have equal representation in each parliament, congress, and executive board. Women's Federation for World Peace maintains that women are vital to leadership at all levels because the woman's position in the global human family is unique as reflected in the role of mother in the family at home. In addition, women complement men and together they encourage one another to reach their fullest capacities. The feminine nature, vantage point, and concerns have been missing from leadership, handicapping development and governance historically. We must seize the unique opportunity to clarify the paradigm and confirm the value of women's contribution which is vital to an equitable and harmonious world.
The Women's Federation for World Peace, International and countless other grassroots non-governmental organizations throughout the world are dedicated to empower women with "the knowledge, the tools and the support needed to create peace at home, peace in our communities, our nations and throughout the world." It is this innovative support of women's potential to influence and impact that is vital for the attainment of the 2030 development Agenda. Many grassroots organizations address rights of women and children, childcare, technical education, literacy, micro-financing, health, nutrition, art, education, and culture. These efforts enable and qualify women to join the ranks and participate in the solutions that are needed by the United Nations in policy making, global citizen education, and good governance.
Goal #4, "Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all" is vital since all countries seek to have a strong economic foundation. An economic foundation is possible through a multifaceted approach including; global citizen education, enhancing literacy, formal education and strengthening the business sense of the population directly which aids in economic growth. In order to make economic growth a reality, all people, male and female, must be able to access a practical route provides this opportunity.
When the population is educated an untold number of possibilities arise which enable societies to be productive, share prosperity and enhance the greater good. Children who are nurtured, learning and growing strong in knowledge, wisdom and competence, formally and informally, are better able to become good world citizens who can contribute to the economy and well-being of their families, communities, nations and world as adults.
As we have seen with efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals or the Culture of Peace Programme, success depends on the engagement of civil society. The vision for 2030 can only be fulfilled through clear vision and practical steps that give hope to and empower women in the most remote villages. Opportunities to tap hidden resources and unexpected grassroots solutions will arise when there is a genuine partnership among government, civil society, public and private entities.
Many non-governmental organizations know the needs in a variety of cultural and economic situations and are working to meet those needs through academic, technical and character education programs. It is only through grassroots engagement that real needs can be identified and addressed. There has been incalculable loss of time, energy, and resources due to the failure to coordinate, communicate, and appreciate the work of those at the grassroots level. A civil society that is profoundly validated is a powerful force.
In 1994 Women's Federation for World Peace volunteers from Japan settled in countries throughout the world and through local women came to understand the needs of the community and indigenous people. Together they established successful services and projects that addressed education, healthcare, skill building, maternal support, and nutrition which are still in place today.
For Goal #16, "Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels" to be accomplished by 2030 it will take a focus on the family. The concepts needed to build a world of lasting peace are taught in the family. These lessons include: work together for common goals, support and respect elders and leaders, foster concern for neighbours, help the most vulnerable, resolve differences through forgiveness and reconciliation, affirm one another's dignity and profoundly value themselves.
Historically, the family has been the sacred place where the future is nurtured. For the ideals of interdependence, mutual prosperity, and universally shared values to be realized, the family should be held with the greatest respect. The vision and values which are embedded in the founding documents of the United Nations are first learned at hearth and home.
Women's input is essential to accomplishing and maintaining each of the Sustainable Development Goals. There is not one goal that can be achieved without the engagement of women. When the uniqueness of women's contribution in the family, workplace, and society is acknowledged - and women themselves take responsibility to understand and cultivate it - our world will be one critical step closer to sustainable peace and prosperity.