By Sung Lee
This week, the United Nations will hold the fifty-sixth session of the Commission on the Status of Women. Since its creation in 1946, the Commission has been a principal global policy-making body dedicated exclusively to gender equality and advancement of women. This year, the Commission will examine ways to empower rural women and examine their roles in poverty and hunger eradication. They will also explore innovative solutions to engage young women and men, girls and boys, to advance gender equality globally. The events are webcasted live and the schedule is available here.
Catherine Bertini, senior fellow at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, will be a part of the U.S. Delegation attending the 56th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women. The U.S. delegation is led by Ambassadors Susan Rice and Melanne Verveer. Other U.S. delegates include: Christy Turlington Burns, John Coonrod, Helene D. Gayle, Jill Iscol, Melinda Newport, and Randi Ilyse Roth.
Ms. Bertini will also be a part of the Panel to explore how empowering rural adolescent girls spurs economic and social growth and how to best address the triple disadvantages of location, age, and gender unique to rural adolescent girls. Ms. Bertini will present the recommendations from the Chicago Council’s recently published report, “Girls Grow: A Vital Force in Rural Economies.”
The United States has launched “The Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index”, which measures the empowerment, agency, and inclusion of women in the agriculture sector in an effort to identify ways to overcome those obstacles and constraint. “It will help us see what our results have been and more effectively do programming going forward,” said Tjada McKenna, coordinator of the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Feed the Future program. The USAID is also scheduled to unveil the Agency’s new Gender Policy on Gender Equality and Female Empowerment on March 1st.