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Leaders’ Forum on the Future Women Want: Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment for Sustainable Development

21 June 2012

Leaders’ Forum on the Future Women Want:Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment for Sustainable Development

Michelle Bachelet

Michelle Bachelet

Executive Director of UN Women and former Chilean President, today at the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development

Social exclusion of women is hurting us.

We need to collect our whole learning capacity.

We need a new, human-centered, development paradigm.  We have to turn words into actions.

Equal rights and participation for all.

The world needs us, let the world hear us.

Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland

Dr Gro Harlem Brundtland

Former Norwegian Prime Minister and Chair of the World Commission on Environment and Development (the Brundtland Commission)

Girls and women are at the center of future development.

Girls and women make an essential impact to the economy itself.

Girls and women have played and still play a central role in all societies and all areas of societies.

Girls and women have a vital role in environmental management.

Women empowerment is the single most important catalyst for global change.  Women can play an important role in the implementation of the Global Sustainability Goals.  Social justice, gender equality and environmental sustainability are conditions for real change.  Do not underestimate the crucial role of women.  We cannot afford this outrageous oversight.

Prerana Shakya

Prerana Shakya

Girl Scouts, Nepal

We need to see decisive action from governments.

Women around the world are making a difference.

Women are drivers of change.

When it comes to women, four main issues emerge: The need for full and meaningful participation, the ability to value the care economy, the need to provide access to health care, the importance of eliminating female poverty.

Most of women’s work is invisible in national GDPs; we need to go beyond GDP and explore other meaningful measures of development.

Lakshmi Puri

Lakshmi Puri

We have certainly made some progress, but there is still a long way to go.  Gender equality and women empowerment is a cross-cutting issue for all Millennium Development Goals.

The economic, social and environmental dimensions are the trinity of development.  Gender equality and women empowerment is central to all three dimensions.

We have seen a push back in some areas, like reproductive health.  This is a challenge we have to deal with and overcome. We need to accelerate implementation.

Anita Nayar

Anita Nayar

Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN)

We need to be mindful that this conference is taking place at a time of grave environmental disruption.  The deeper structural crises we are going through need a new structural and analytical framework.

We need a change in consciousness to see the linkages between economy and ecology.  In the Rio+20 texts there is no fundamental recognition of these linkages.  The texts are unbalanced and don’t place enough importance on the equity and gender issues.

The new frame of the green economy prioritizes the economy over ecology and social justice.  Corporate interests are very much protected in this Rio+20 conference.  The linkages between gender and all three pillars of sustainable development have been acknowledged, but have not been fully recognized in the drafts to the Rio document.

It is imperative that all of us say it loud and clear: we have to face reality, stand up and start working.

Eleonora Menicucci

Eleonora Menicucci

Minister of the Special Secretariat of Policies for Women of Brazil

A sustainable world is a world in which women are included in the economic, social and political spheres.  It is a world in which paid and non-paid domestic work are recognized as productive work.

Mary Robinson

Mary Robinson

Former President of the Republic of Ireland

Three key issues have emerged: gender equality, women empowerment and women leadership.

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