News Release

PH urges nations to help lift women, girls’ from poverty

MANILA – The Philippines called on governments and stakeholders to double efforts in eradicating poverty among women and girls, citing alarming figures that could further worsen by 2030.

Chairing the 68th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW68), Philippine Permanent Representative to the UN in New York Antonio Lagdameo disclosed that more than 400 million women and girls are currently living in extreme poverty.

“These women bear a heavy and disproportionate burden due to the multiple crises that our world is currently grappling with, including the climate crisis, food shortages, debt crisis and escalating conflicts,” he said during the session opening on March 11.

“If the present trends persist, it is projected that by 2030, approximately 8 percent of women globally will continue to subsist on less than 2 dollars and 15 cents per day,” he added.

Lagdameo warned that this situation not only jeopardizes the goal to achieve gender equality but also poses a significant obstacle to the fulfillment of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

“It is our shared responsibility to eradicate women’s and girls’ poverty and address all the barriers that are standing in the way,” he said.

“These barriers include the ability of the financial systems and institutions to provide sufficient funding, capacities and accountability so that women’s and girls’ poverty is recognized, understood, and effectively addressed,” he added.

At the opening, UN Women Executive Director Sima Sami Bahous agreed that gender equality is a “guaranteed” driver to economic growth and pushed for actions that would put premium on empowering women.

For Bahous, promoting gender equality is the “smartest and wisest investment” as reflected in the history when inclusivity for women is pushed.

She proposed four priority items to end poverty in women and girls, including an inclusive equitable fiscal taxation; high quality and accessible public service; an inclusive gender responsive social protection system; and investment on “care economy”.

Committee on Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) Chairperson Ana Peláez Narváez, for her part, cited the restriction in some women’s common social rights including education, which eventually leads them to poverty.

She also stressed the need to stop abuses against women and called for the immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

The Philippines is chairing the two-week CSW68, the UN’s largest annual gathering to discuss ways to address gender issues and concerns including discrimination and violence against women.

The priority theme for the meeting is “accelerating the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls by addressing poverty and strengthening institutions and financing with a gender perspective”.

This year, the Commission also seeks to evaluate the progress in the implementation of the 63rd session’s agreed conclusions on social protection systems, access to public services, and sustainable infrastructure for gender equality, among others.

The CSW68 will also tackle artificial intelligence as an emerging issue in efforts to advance gender equality. (PNA)