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Coronavirus, floods impeded SDGs realisation by Pakistan, envoy tells UN

Coronavirus, floods impeded SDGs realisation by Pakistan, envoy tells UN


Coronavirus, floods impeded SDGs realisation by Pakistan, envoy tells UN

UNITED NATIONS (APP) - Pakistan told a UN panel Wednesday that it has introduced legal and policy measures to promote gender equality and empowerment of women, saying those steps were essential for achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“Without achieving the rights of women and girls, we will not achieve the SDGs,” Ambassador Munir Akram said in a speech during the General Assembly’s Third Committee, which deals with social, humanitarian and cultural issues.

But, the ambassador said, the finance, fuel and food crisis caused by the Covid pandemic and the epic floods that hit Pakistan last year further compounded the challenges in realising the SDGs and the development rights of women and girls.

Speaking in a debate on ‘Advancement of Women’, the Pakistani envoy said that rural women faced particular challenges, noting that between 50 to 80 percent of women in Pakistan were food producers, while 70 percent of the livestock was managed by them in rural areas.

The international community, he pointed out, had set clear norms to promote and ensure gender equality and the rights of women to education, work, political representation as well as participation in households, communities and national life.

“In Pakistan and in almost all countries with the exception of Afghanistan, these norms are established at the official level and are also widely accepted at the social and personal levels,” Akram said.

“However, despite the normative acceptance, the situation of girls and women in many countries, especially in the rural areas, remains disadvantaged, and in many respects, exploitative.”

Ambassador Akram questioned how the UN system could assist individual developing countries in transforming recommendations into actual development and “quality of life” outcomes for women and girls, noting that the major and pervasive challenge was the paucity of adequate financing.

“We believe that a deeper survey and study can offer conclusions of both a general and specific nature that could lead to a transformative leap in advancing women and girls’ rights.”

The ambassador suggested collecting data to further identify and understand the challenges faced by women and to build “effective policy responses and actions”.