THE Non-governmental Gender Organisations Coordinating Council (NGOCC) says it remains concerned at the shrinking civil space in many countries. NGOCC on Tuesday participated in a high level interactive meeting with the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guteres at which various ‘push back’ issues affecting gender equality and women’s empowerment were discussed.
NGOCC executive director Engwase Mwale, who is leading the NGOCC, civil society delegation from Zambia, said the interaction meeting provided an opportunity for civil society to raise fundamental issues affecting women’s empowerment at a global level. Mwale called for close collaboration between the Zambian government and the UN in Zambia if gender equality was to be attained.
“Increasingly the issue about gender equality and women’s participation is being recognised as a development imperative. We can only hope that the Secretary General’s commitment can be cascaded to country level. Globally we remain concerned at the shrinking civil space in many countries,” she said.
And Guterres reiterated the need for governments, civil society and the UN to work together in fighting what he termed ‘militant push back’ issues that were derailing the attainment of gender equality globally.
During the Town Hall meeting held on the sidelines of the 63rd Commission on the Status of Women in New York, global civil society organisations raised various concerns, including the continued systematic discrimination and exclusion of women from participating in decision making positions, the lopsided legal and policies that disadvantage women globally.
The 63rd CSW is being held under the theme, “Social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.”