In a speech at the 49th Session of the United Nations (UN) Commission on the Situation of Women, yesterday, in New York, the Brazilian Minister of the Special Secretariat of Women’s Policies, Nilcéa Freire, criticized the Millenium Goals, because they make no reference to women.
“According to the UN, women make up 70% of the world’s population that lives below the poverty line. To reduce the population that lives in extreme poverty by 50%, we must remember that 70% of them are women. Therefore, specific strategies must be established for them, including them in at least one of the Goals,” she pointed out.
Freire recalled that, according to the United Nations Development Program, a large number of countries suffered a reversal in their process of development during the decade of the ’90’s.
In 46 countries the population is poorer than in the previous decade, and in 25 countries there are more people suffering from hunger.
At the 49th Session in New York, the participants are discussing the progress and the difficulties in implementing the Action Platform approved in 1995 during the 4th UN World Conference, held in Beijing, China, to discuss the problems of women around the globe.
In all, 180 countries were represented, and approximately 35 thousand people participated. Brazil adhered to the Platform, which contains recommendations and proposals to diminish the inequalities and problems that affect women.
For the Brazilian Minister, the Action Platform “is the most complete guide for those who struggle in their countries to advance the situation of women and for governments willing to confront gender inequalities and affirm equality with the broadest respect for differences.”
Translation: David Silberstein