Fréchette says women’s equality crucial to achieving development goals

Fréchette says women’s equality crucial to achieving development goals

Louise Fréchette
Gender equality and women’s empowerment are central to achieving major development goals as well as many of the commitments made at all major United Nations conferences and summits since the 1990s, UN Deputy Secretary-General Louise Fréchette said in anticipation of this week’s World Summit in New York.

Gender equality and women’s empowerment are central to achieving major development goals as well as many of the commitments made at all major United Nations conferences and summits since the 1990s, UN Deputy Secretary-General Louise Fréchette said in anticipation of this week’s World Summit in New York.

“Unless attention is paid to the discrimination of women across all MDGs, the achievement of the goals will be jeopardized,” she told a meeting of women speakers of parliaments on Friday, in reference to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the ambitious set of targets for reducing world poverty and other ills by 2015.

“A gender perspective must be incorporated into the strategies, programmes and activities designed to reach the MDGs, she added”

She said that a gender perspective is particularly important for reaching the MDGs that relate to the eradication of poverty and hunger because of the disproportionately high incidence of poverty among women.

In addition, she said that women were also very much affected by to goals that relate to reducing child mortality and combating HIV/AIDS. They are central for ensuring environmental sustainability, she stressed, because giving women access to productive resources, including land, is critical for sustainable development.