Key UNFPA Priorities Highlighted Throughout the Commission on the Status of Women

3 March 2011
Author: UNFPA
Key UNFPA Priorities Highlighted Throughout the Commission on the Status of Women
This year's Commission on the Status of Women focused on access to education, training, science and technology. Photo: Lynsey Addario.

 UNITED NATIONS, New York — UNFPA played an active role in this year's Commission on the Status of Women, which focused on women’s and girls’ access to education, training, science and technology, including the promotion of opportunities for full employment and decent work for women.

The new Executive Director was prominent in a number of events and panels, where he called attention to UNFPA's priorities. After participating in four key CSW events, he called the Commission, "an excellent platform to further strengthen UNFPA’s partnerships and give greater prominence to key issues related to our mandate, especially women’s sexual and reproductive health and girls’ secondary education."

In addition to participating in a one-day consultation on the reproductive rights of women and girls living with HIV on 24 February, Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin took part in a high-level forum, where he stressed the importance of investing in adolescent girls, calling them "the unexpected solution to many of the world's pressing problems".

The Executive Director also served as a panelist at special event on girls’ secondary education and a panel on reducing maternal mortality and morbidity by empowering women, where he made a strong case for paying special attention to vulnerable population groups that are often hardest to reach.  "Reduction of maternal mortality will not be achieved, " he said, "and will not be sustainable, without protecting the sexual and reproductive health rights and addressing the needs of all groups of the population, including the most marginalised."

UNFPA  organized several side events to highlight some of its key issues, including women’s and children’s rights, reproductive health in humanitarian settings, female genital mutilation/cutting, ending violence against women, and gender statistics. Deputy Executive Director (Programme) spoke at the global launch of Nepal's National Action Plan on women, peace and security.

At a side event on 24 February, entitled 'Making Gender Statistics Meaningful on the Ground', panelists discussed gaps and challenges in meeting the gender data needs of national and regional development partners. The panel also addressed issues of data consistency and comparability among different forums, agencies and publications.

Young people were also part of the agenda on February 25, when UNFPA and UNICEF hosted a discussion titled Women's and Children's Rights: Making the Connection.” They jointly launched a publication by the same name. 

On 2 March, during a side event of the Commission on the Status of Women sponsored by the UNITE Campaign Secretariat, the UNFPA-funded film, Bosnia: Healing the Wounds of War was screened at the Salvation Army Headquarters in New York. Survivor Enisa Salcinovic, also featured in the 2010 State of the World's Population spoke at the event. There was an accompanying video projection showing portraits of women survivors of sexual violence from the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia.