The Fifty-eighth session on the Commission on the Status of Women ended on 21st March 2014. We applaud the participants, including AWLN members Jane Kiragu and Sylvia Ssinabulya who did a great job ensuring that women and girls are included in the post 2015 agenda.
The following are some of the agreed conclusions for the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls noted by the Commission:
Millennium Development Goal 4 (Reduce child mortality)
Taking into account the important interconnections between women’s and children’s health and gender equality and empowerment of women, significant progress has been made in reducing child mortality globally including through the efforts to eliminate new HIV infections and vertical transmissions in children, and other factors including lack of vaccines, malnutrition, malaria, diarrhea, hunger and anemia, but the targets are likely to be missed.
Increasingly, child deaths are concentrated in the poorest regions and in the first month of life, and further expresses concern that children are at greater risk of dying before the age of five if they are born in rural and remote areas or to poor households. Some regions have higher female under-five mortality rates due to discriminatory practices. The Commission recognized that progress on reducing child mortality is linked with women’s access to health-care services, safe drinking water, sanitation and housing, as well as mothers’ lack of basic education and nutrition.
Millennium Development Goal 5 (Improve maternal health)
Progress towards its two targets, to reduce maternal mortality and to achieve universal access to reproductive health, has been particularly slow and uneven, especially for the poorest and rural sectors of the population, within and across countries. The numbers of preventable maternal deaths continue to be unacceptably high and that adolescent girls face higher risks. There are significant gaps in funding that remain and the magnitude of unmet need for all sexual and reproductive health care services, including emergency obstetric services and skilled attendance at delivery, safe and effective contraception, services for the complications of unsafe abortion and safe abortion where such services are permitted by national law, prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted infections and HIV/AIDS, among others, through the primary health care system with effective referral to higher levels of care. Continuing challenges to progress, include failure to protect and fulfil reproductive rights in accordance with the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development, the Beijing Platform for Action and the outcome documents of their review conferences, poor nutrition and heavy workloads for pregnant women.