OSCE Chairperson’s Special Representative for Gender Issues and ODIHR Director call on states to prioritize economic, political and social parity
VIENNA / WARSAW, 8 March 2016 – OSCE participating States must take more action to close the gender gap in the nearest future, Ambassador Melanne Verveer, the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office’s Special Representative for Gender Issues, and Michael Georg Link, Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) said today, on International Women’s Day.
“It is important today to reflect on the progress women have made in the social, economic and political spheres, but this day should also be a reminder of the challenges that women continue to confront,” Ambassador Verveer said. “Women’s economic participation is critical to growing economies, creating jobs and advancing inclusive prosperity. While more women are entering the global workforce, they earn what men did a decade ago, and this pay gap affects women’s access to health care, education and economic opportunities, and politics.”
“Given the estimated 118 years it will take to close this gap completely at the current pace, OSCE participating States have to redouble their efforts to ensure that women’s rights are protected and that women can participate fully in economic and public life,” she added.
“The challenges confronted in ODIHR’s work in promoting gender equality serve as constant reminders of how much more needs to be done to address women’s underrepresentation in decision-making across the OSCE region,” Director Link said. “Men need to actively stand alongside women who have been fighting for their rights for decades; they have to take a more active role in promoting equality in the professional and economic spheres, as well as in promoting equality by shouldering their fair share of the burden in their day-to-day lives.”
“In the OSCE as a whole, we must promote a culture of inclusion, with gender equality at its roots and present in all aspects of our work,” Director Link said.
The 1995 Beijing Platform for Action, reinforced by the 2004 OSCE Action Plan for the Promotion of Gender Equality, encourages men to participate fully in action to bring progress towards equality, as well as to recognize that gender-based discrimination can only be addressed by women and men working together in partnership, with the common goal of achieving gender equality.