Permanent Observer Mission of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to the United Nations in New York organized an event on the sidelines of the 61st Session of the Committee on the Status of Women (CSW) under the title, "Role of Young Female Leaders in Decision Making Process" in the UN Headquarters on 17 March 2017.
The overall objective of the side event was to analyze the current situation and role of young women in decision-making processes, at international, regional, national and local levels, identify challenges facing them, and explore how to overcome these challenges.
While women continued to face formidable challenges at all levels and in various fields, it was noted that there had been some progress in promoting the status of women in general. However, decision making and power remained among the areas in which young female leaders had been underrepresented. The event underscored that despite adoption of policies by the governments to promote women to decision making, the obstacles continued to slow down the process of achieving gender balance in decision making at various levels. It was mentioned that Women continued to be under-represented in the legislative, ministerial and sub-ministerial levels, as well as at the highest levels of the corporate sector and other economic and social institutions”.
The event was in line with the vision of article 21 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which recognizes the rights of individuals to take part in the government of their countries, directly or through freely chosen representatives. It also emphasizes on women’s rights of equal access to public service. The event emphasized that it was only through equal participation of men and women in decision making, that fair and just representation of the people in all policy and decision making institutions could be guaranteed. In this context, young female leaders’ participation in power and decision making would not only bring more accountability and transparency in the process but will also contribute in empowering women including mainstreaming of gender perspective into policies.
It was emphasized that it was indeed through the increased participation of young female leaders in political, social and other spheres that the society would find its way towards more sustainable development. Therefore, issues such as poverty among women, women illiteracy, lack of access to education and capacity building, violence against women, bad living conditions and women weak presence in the key areas like political and developmental needed be addressed in a systematic and persistent manner to ensure their equal participation.
Following were speakers and sanelists:
1- H. E. Prof. Vannetia Ryckerens Danes,
Deputy Minister for Women's Rights Protection in the Ministry of Women Empowerment and Child Protection of the Republic of Indonesia
2- Prof. Emine Sare Aydın Yılmaz
President of Women and Democracy Association
3- Sharon Slator
President of Family Watch International
4- Dr. Fadila Grine,
Director of Family and Social Affairs Department in the OIC General Secretariat
5- Ms. Christina Tobias-Nahi,
Director of Public Affairs, Islamic Relief, USA
Moderator: Ms. Hind Al-Owais,
Senior Advisor, UN Women