Posted on | July 10, 2012 by Elizabeth Charnowski |
The 30th Anniversary session of the CEDAW Committee kicked off yesterday in New York at UN Headquarters. After listening to Ms. Silvia Pimentel (Chair of the CEDAW Committee) and Mr. Jan Eliasson (Deputy Secretary-General of the UN) praise the work of CEDAW, the speeches discussing the necessity of advancing women’s political participation around the world began.
While attacking the Rio +20 outcome document for not including any mention of sexual and reproductive health, Michelle Bachelet (Executive Director of the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women) linked the need for equal female representation in politics to what she believed is the necessity of expanded sexual and reproductive rights. In her words, we need equal representation of women in politics in order to allow women to decide how to use their own bodies. For example, she thinks that advancing political participation will allow women more freedom in deciding how many children they have and the spacing of those children.
Ms. Bachelet thinks that if there are more women in politics, young girls will have role models and that the women politicians will be able to change the attitudes of those young girls. So what she really is saying is that countries should advance women’s political participation in order to show young females that they should have these sexual and reproductive rights. Are those really the role models we want for young women in the world?
There will be more information on the CEDAW committee session to come as Guyana presents their country report today and the CEDAW committee questions that report.