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This post is part of a series on the 54th United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. Click on a link to read further.

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 7 , Part 8 , Part 9 , Part 10

The theme of this UNCSW is the 15th anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action. You can find the Platform here:

http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/beijing/platform/

The 54th UNCSW has focused on taking stock of the progress that has been made in the implementation of the platform, as well as using the opportunity to identify and prioritize the ways that we need to move forward. The main indicators that countries seem to be reporting on are access to education, political participation, economic security and violence against women. The latter three priorities are mirrored in the “Three Pillars” that the Status of Women Canada seem to talk about so often.

During the General Assembly Reports on March 3rd, we heard that some countries have only passed laws against rape and spousal assault as early as 3 years ago. We heard that a lot of countries have increased the access that girls have to education and the level of education that women achieve. Some of the South American countries reported that they were able to reduce the level of absolute poverty of women and children by providing family benefits directly to women. A lot of the countries reported that there had been increases in political participation of women, even if sometimes the increase was that there were previously ZERO women in elected offices and now there were four. We also heard that a lot of countries are seeing more women in senior and decision making positions.

It seemed from the country reports that all of the reporting states had seen some improvement in the lives of women since the Platform was created 15 years ago.

Areas of concern include a persistent income gap between men and women regardless of the educational levels. Women reported that violence against women is still a significant problem all over the world.  The vast majority of countries do not have gender parity in political representation or in  senior decision making positions.

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