The Fifty-eighth session on the Commission on the Status of Women Conclusions

UNW_CSW58_info_bulletin jpg

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.

Recommendations included:

  • Ensure the promotion and protection of the human rights of all women and their sexual and reproductive health, and 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, including through the development and enforcement of policies and legal frameworks, and strengthening of health systems, that make universally accessible and available quality comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care services, commodities, information and education, including, inter alia, safe and effective methods of modern contraception, emergency contraception, prevention programmes for adolescent pregnancy, maternal health care such as skilled birth attendance and emergency obstetric care which will reduce obstetric fistula and other complications of pregnancy and delivery, safe abortion where such services are permitted by national law, and prevention and treatment of reproductive tract infections, sexually transmitted infections, HIV, and reproductive cancers, recognizing that human rights include the right to have control over and decide freely and responsibly on matters related to their sexuality, including sexual and reproductive health, free from coercion, discrimination, and violence;
  •  Ensure universal access to comprehensive prevention, affordable treatment, care and support services for HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infections, free of stigma and discrimination, with a gender perspective, and to provide comprehensive information, voluntary counseling and testing to young women and adolescent girls living and affected with HIV and AIDS;
  • Develop, implement and support national prevention, care and treatment strategies, to effectively address obstetric fistula using a multi-sectoral, multidisciplinary, comprehensive and integrated approach in order to bring about lasting solutions;
  • Encourage partnerships for global health to support Member States in carrying out their responsibilities, including in moving towards universal health coverage, which implies that all people, including women and girls, have access, without discrimination, to nationally determined sets of the promotive, preventive, curative, rehabilitative and palliative basic health services, and vaccines, needed and essential, safe, affordable, effective and quality medicines, especially through the promotion of primary health care, while ensuring that the use of these services does not expose the users to financial hardship, with a specific emphasis on the poor, vulnerable, and marginalized segments of the population, and calls upon Member States to strengthen and improve the quality of health systems in this regard.

Leave a Comment or Questions