It’s a momentous occasion as we launch an important UN Women global flagship report titled: Turning Promises into Action: Gender Equality in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
This report comes two years after the launch of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which aim to promote concerted efforts to tackle global challenges within a period of 15 years, from 2015 to 2030.
A total 193 member states of the United Nations committed themselves to this development agenda, which also prominently highlights the importance of prioritising gender equality in all our national programmes, if promises for sustainable development are to be achieved.
This report informs us where we are in this new development consensus; what is remaining; what needs to be done; and how we should work to achieve greater results for women and girls globally.
At UN Women Tanzania, our programmes position us to further strengthen the work done over the years. Our aim is to support the government in implementing its commitments to gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.
Through the global frameworks such as the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW); and the agreed conclusions of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), UN Women is working with the government, alongside partners, to promote gender mainstreaming within Tanzania’s national institutions.
In addition, we are also responsible for coordinating and promoting accountability of the UN system in its work on gender equality and women’s empowerment.
Leaving no-one behind
As we take stock of the work done so far globally, the task of leaving no one behind and ensuring we reach first those furthest behind, can remain a challenge if our efforts do not look at how best we can make our policies and processes innovative, robust and inclusive.
Inclusive approaches require us to use scientific evidence in the development of mechanisms that can address gender inequalities in all sectors.
Here in Tanzania, the Gender Inequality Index Score is at 0.553, which reflects quite significant gender gaps in human development.
We need to all work together in order to get it right and the media is very critical in contributing to the achievements of gender equality and women’s empowerment in Tanzania.
At UN Women here in Tanzania, issues of good governance and the equal participation of women and men in politics is critical to our mandate. For us, leaving no one behind also means that together we can create an enabling environment that promotes the inclusion of women in all decision-making positions.
Currently, there are 36.8 per cent women in Parliament while in cabinet there are 19 per cent. To this end, UN Women will among other actions, work with partners, including the government, to ensure that women are also perceived as equally legitimate and effective leaders in governance issues.
UN Women Tanzania is also working with partners to ensure that women are able to access sustainable energy and business opportunities, through the creation of a conducive environment that empowers women and responds to their various needs as informal traders and smallholder farmers. We will continue to provide various support mechanisms to the government, including strengthening the capacities of key national institutions for the review of discriminatory laws and integrate current recommendations stipulated in the international normative frameworks such as CEDAW.
We believe that for advocacy actions to bear fruit, men and boys should be included in our campaigns to end violence against women and girls. This approach is imperative, hence the HeForShe campaign and our innovative approaches during the ongoing 16 Days of Activism on violence against women and girls.
But also, importantly, how we navigate our SDGs journey here in Tanzania will also determine our outcomes in 2030. UN Women will remain committed to the promotion of gender equality efforts to avert the far-reaching consequences of leaving women and girls behind in this 2030 Development Agenda.
Gender equality should remain at the core of our work in order to realistically address the barriers to sustainable development and ensure that we significantly improve the lives of women, girls, men and boys.
Media practitioners are our valuable partners here at UN Women and I look forward to a much stronger alliance in our efforts to bridge the gender gap for a prosperous Tanzania.
Ms Hodan Addou is UN Women Representative in Tanzania