india-beats-china-to-win-crucial-election-to-un-commission-on-women

 

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Context: India got elected as Member of the UN Commission on the Status of Women, the principal global body focussed on gender equality and women empowerment, beating China in a hotly-contested election.

Background:

  • The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is a functional commission of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
  • The 54-member ECOSOC, held elections for two seats in the Asia-Pacific States category with Afghanistan, India and China in the fray.
  • Afghanistan garnered 39 votes and India got 38 votes of the 54 ballots cast.China, a permanent member of the UN Security Council, got only 27 votes.
  • India and Afghanistan will join Argentina, Austria, Dominican Republic, Israel, Latvia, Nigeria, Turkey and Zambia, which were elected by acclamation, to the Commission on the Status of Women for a four-year term beginning from 2021-2025.

About UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)

  • The UN Charter established ECOSOC in 1945 as one of the six main organs of the wold body. 
  • It is mandated to offer direction to and undertake the coordination of the economic, social, and cultural activities of the UN with responsibility for advancing international economic and social cooperation and development.
  • Headquarters location: New York, United States
  • ECOSOC’s inaugural presidency in 1946 was held by Sir Ramaswami Mudaliar of India.

Significance of Indian victory: 

  • It’s a ringing endorsement of India’s commitment to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in all our endeavours. 
  • China lost the election to the UN’s principal global intergovernmental body when the 25th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women, that was held in Beijing in 1995, is being commemorated around the world.
    • It is being seen as sending a strong signal about China’s own record of women’s equality and empowerment.

The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) 

  • It is the principal global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women. 
  • It is a functional commission of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
  • The Commission on the Status of Women has been responsible for organizing and following up the world conferences on women in Mexico (1975), Copenhagen (1980), Nairobi (1985) and Beijing (1995).
  • The Commission has systematically reviewed progress in the implementation of the twelve critical areas of concern identified in the Beijing Platform for Action at its annual sessions.

Beijing Platform for Action 

  • The 1995 4th World Conference on Women (WCW), held in Beijing, was one of the largest ever gatherings of the United Nations, and a critical turning point in the world’s focus on gender equality and the empowerment of women.
  • It marked a significant turning point for the global agenda for gender equality. The Beijing Declaration was adopted unanimously the UN at the end of the 4th WCW.
  • The Beijing Declaration and the Platform for Action, adopted unanimously by 189 countries, is an agenda for women’s empowerment and considered the key global policy document on gender equality. 
  • It sets strategic objectives and actions for the advancement of women and the achievement of gender equality in 12 critical areas of concern:
    • Women and poverty
    • Education and training of women
    • Women and health
    • Violence against women
    • Women and armed conflict
    • Women and the economy
    • Women in power and decision-making
    • Institutional mechanism for the advancement of women
    • Human rights of women
    • Women and the media
    • Women and the environment
    • The girl-child


 

After reading this article, answer the following question for Mains answer writing practice. Also you can get your answer checked free of cost by clicking on the following link.

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Q) What are the progress and challenges to the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action in India over the past 5 years. Discuss. (250 words)

Image Source: Economic Times