UN Women Current Affairs
India has won six elections to United Nations (UN) Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) bodies, five of them unanimously. In these polls, India won places on executive boards of four UN bodies, three commissions and committee.
India faced an election within the Asia-Pacific group only for Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) Committee. India polled highest number of votes, receiving 46 votes, followed by Pakistan with 43, China received 39. The NGO committee of UN is considered influential because it scrutinises NGOs applying for consultative status with UNECOSOC and can recommend or block them. India will serve four-year term on panel starting January 2019.
India won elections to Executive Boards of UN Development Programme (UNDP), UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS). India will serve three-year terms from January 2019 on those executive boards.
Executive Board of UN-Women
India was also elected separately on this executive board for three-year term starting January 2019. UN-Women work for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women.
India was elected on UN Commission on Population and Development and it will have term till September 2021. India was also elected on the UN Commission for Social Development and shall have four-year term starting immediately. It was also elected UN Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice and will serve three-year term starting January 2019.
UN Commission on Population and Development: It assist UNECOSOC by arranging for studies and advising it on population issues and trends, integrating population and development strategies and population and related development policies and programmes.
Commission for Social Development: Its purpose is advice UNECOSOC on social policies of general character and in particular on all matters in social field not covered by specialised inter-governmental agencies.
Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice: It acts as principal policymaking body of UN in field of crime prevention and criminal justice. Its mandate includes improving international action to combat national and transnational crime and efficiency and fairness of criminal justice administration systems.
The Economic and Social Council is UN’s central platform for reflection, debate, and innovative thinking on sustainable development.’ It is one of six main UN organs which were established by UN Charter. EcoSoc is principal body for coordination, policy review, policy dialogue and recommendations on economic, social and environmental issues as well as for implementation of internationally agreed development goals. It supervises subsidiary and expert bodies in the economic, social and environmental fields.
In recently released 2017 Women in Politics Map report, India was ranked low at 148th position in representation of women in executive government. It was released by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and UN Women.
The report was launched on sidelines of 61st Commission on Status of Women, the largest inter-governmental forum on women’s rights and gender equality. The theme for this year event is on women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work.
Key highlights of the report
- Globally, the number of women in executive government and in Parliament has stagnated, with only marginal improvements since 2015.
- Top 10 countries with highest women in parliament: Rwanda, Bolivia, Cuba, Iceland, Nicaragua, Sweden, Senegal, Mexico, Finland and South Africa.
- Region wise facts: In Europe, the total percentage stood at 22.5%. In Nordic countries the number of female ministers fell by more than six per cent to 43.5%.
- Women’s representation in the Americas made the most significant gains. Women’s participation in parliaments rose to 25% from 22.4% in 2015. But the region saw a drop in Heads of State.
- In Africa, female ministers saw a decline in numbers, after years of steady growth. About 19.7% of the region’s ministerial posts are held by women.
- In Asia, women hold 11% of ministerial posts. Indonesia tops in the region with 25.7% women representatives in the government.
- Among the Arab States, 9.7% of senior executive posts are held by women. Tunisia and United Arab Emirates top in region with 23.1% and 26.7%, respectively.
- India related facts: Women make up 11.8% of the Lok Sabha i.e. 64 were elected to the 542-member house and 11% of the Rajya Sabha with 27 of the 245 members. India ranked 88 in the number of women ministers with five or 18.5% in the cabinet.
This report shows that progress in gender equality remains slow in all structures of power and types of decision-making. Power is still firmly in men’s hands. Equal representation for women in par with men in positions of power is a fundamental precondition for truly effective and accountable democracy.