On 14-16 March, Helena Dalli, European Commissioner for Equality, led the EU delegation to the United Nations’ 66th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW66), the principal global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.
During her visit, Commissioner Dalli addressed high-level events and held a series of bilateral meetings with intergovernmental institutions, State parties and other stakeholders, including António Guterres, United Nations Secretary General, Sima Bahous, UN Women Executive Director, Natalia Kanem, United Nations Population Fund Executive Director and Jayathma Wickramanayake, UN Youth Envoy.
In view of this year’s CSW priority theme of “achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls in the context of climate change, environmental and disaster risk reduction policies and programmes” Commissioner Dalli took the opportunity to highlight and reaffirm the European Commission’s position on the transition towards an environmentally sustainable and fair future.
Commissioner Dalli stressed, “No crisis is gender-neutral. Climate change and environmental degradation take a disproportionate toll on women, due to their reduced access to resources. The EU wants to change this and therefore social justice and gender mainstreaming are at the heart of the European Green Deal.” She added, “Women and girls must be agents of change and drivers of sustainable solutions.”
For women to be able to participate in all spheres of life, they need to be free from discrimination and violence in all time throughout their life. This is why the Directive on combating violence against women and domestic violence adopted by the European Commission on 8 March 2022 aims to prevent and combat violence against women and domestic violence, support and protect victims, and hold perpetrators to account. Further to this proposal, the European Commission continues to sustain its global gender equality efforts through the Spotlight Initiative and its support to the Generation Equality Forum.
In addition to the recent Directive, Commissioner Dalli also presented the European Commission’s gender equality priorities as part of both the internal and the external spheres as listed in the European Commission Gender Equality Strategy and the Gender Action Plan III respectively.
In her various interventions, Commissioner Dalli highlighted the increased risk of trafficking, sexual violence and rape posed by the invasion of Ukraine to women and children. She met Kateryna Levchenko, Ukraine’s Coordinator for Gender Equality in person to discuss the situation in the country.
- Publication date
- 16 March 2022
- Representation in Malta