PHOTO FEATURE: UN Women’s Commission tackles parity and empowerment in changing workplace

Woman in Lebanon drives a cab. Photo: UN Women/Joe Saad

15 March 2017 – Against the backdrop of rapid transformations in the world of work, the annual session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women – or in UN parlance CSW – will this year examine the impact such changes will have on women and girls, including in the areas of equal pay, unpaid care work, the informal economy and in technology.

The single largest forum for UN Member States and other international actors dealing with the promotion of gender equality, CSW focuses on women’s rights and empowerment as it builds consensus for actionable policy recommendations.

According to UN Women, the priority theme of this year’s largest inter-governmental meeting is “Women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work.” It is also reviewing the challenges and achievements for women and girls in implementing the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Challenges abound

This session comes at a critical moment as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development gains momentum and the world of work rapidly transforms – bringing both challenges and opportunities for women’s economic empowerment and economic justice.

The innovation, globalization and human mobility shaping today’s workplaces are deeply impacting gender-based discrimination and income inequality.

At this pace, economic equality among men and women cannot be achieved for another 170 years, according to World Economic Forum’s latest Gender Gap Report. 

Research also shows that if women played an identical role in labour markets to that of men, as much as $28 trillion, or 26 per cent, could be added to the global annual GDP by 2025.

At the present pace of change, it will take 70 years to close the gender wage gap. 

From the gender pay gap to unpaid work, the challenges of the informal economy and the opportunities created by care and green economies, and new technologies, the 61th session of CSW will discuss key issues the sphere of work that significantly impact women and girl.


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