New York – March 6, 2015


2015 marks twenty years since the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. Through efforts at the national, regional and global level, there has been steady progress in advancing gender equality. However, as Member States and other stakeholders engage in formulating the Post-2015 Development Agenda, gender inequalities still remain deeply entrenched in many societies. This thematic debate focused primarily on two aspects of promoting gender equality and empowerment of women that are important for their contribution to sustainable development – women’s economic and political empowerment and their access to quality education.
High-Level Thematic Debate on Advancing Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women and Girls for a Transformative Post-2015 Development Agenda


Opening Session: The opening session commemorated the 2015 United Nations Observance of International Women’s Day, under the slogan: “Empower women, Empower humanity. Picture it.”

Morning Panel Discussion: Women’s economic and political empowerment, including access to decent work, and control over economic and productive resources and active participation in governance and decision-making.

Afternoon Panel Discussion: Access to quality education and skills development as tools for empowerment of women and girls.


Member States were invited to participate at the highest level. Representatives of UN agencies and entities, international financial institutions, regional development banks, the private sector, civil society and other stakeholders were also invited to attend at the highest level possible.


The outcome is a President’s summary, which was circulated to all Member States and stakeholders. Participants were invited to make specific expressions of commitment in support of gender equality and women’s empowerment. These could take the form of announcements of legislation, policies, programmes or various other initiatives to be captured in the meeting summary.