Speech by Lisa Paus, Federal Minister for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, during the General Discussion of the 68th session of the Commission on the Status of Women, 12 March 2024

Ministerin Paus - General Discussion CSW68

Ministerin Paus - General Discussion CSW68, © Johnny Vacar

12.03.2024 - Speech

Colleagues, ladies and gentlemen,

Germany aligns itself with the statement of the European Union.

We are meeting in difficult and challenging times.

War and conflict continue to rage across the globe. In Ukraine, the Russian war of aggression continues to rage.

The Middle East is engulfed in violence and is experiencing immense suffering. The humanitarian situation in Gaza is catastrophic and this is why we need a humanitarian pause leading to a humanitarian ceasefire.

Sexual violence continues to be used as systematic weapon of war and terror, as has just been confirmed by the mission report issued by SRSG Patten with regard to Hamas’s terrorist attack on Israel.

We know that wars and conflicts are a vicious circle:
They cause and increase poverty – while poverty can lead to new conflicts.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Peace and prosperity must never be the privilege of only a select few.

It is up to all of us to protect and to defend them.

The most vulnerable people suffer the most from the effects of the current crises and conflicts.

Women are especially affected.

Poverty of women is mainly caused by multiple structural discrimination.

As governments, we have to make sure that every member of society can live up to their full potential and can benefit from peace and prosperity.

These is the foundation of economic equality.
It enables.
It empowers.
And it effectively protects against poverty.

Sustainable economic self-sufficiency is the benchmark for economic equality.

It is the key to social justice and financial security in old age.

In Germany, we are making efforts to improve economic self-sufficiency for women in all their diversity:

First, by promoting women’s participation in paid employment.

By supporting the fair distribution of unpaid care work from the very beginning and at the same time by expanding childcare.

Children must not be a poverty risk!
We thereby place a special focus on single parents.
Second: we promote fair pay and increase pay transparency in order to close the gender pay and pension gaps.

Third: We are working on a gender-just payroll tax reform.

Social security is another powerful lever to combat poverty.

That is why we introduced citizen’s benefit in Germany in 2023.
It ensures financial security for jobseekers in an unbureaucratic way.
And we have increased the minimum wage.

In addition, by introducing basic child allowance, we are implementing one of the biggest social reform projects of the German Government in recent years:
it will provide a safety net for all children and their families.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We believe that a society in which women and men in all their diversity are economically self-sufficient is strong and resilient – particularly in times of crises.

This is why this CSW must send out the signal that we are all committed to tackling poverty together.

We stand united:

· For people in need.

· For gender equality.

· For women’s right to sexual and reproductive autonomy.

· For the rights of LGBTIQ+ persons and their protection.

· Against anti-feminism, hate speech and any attempt of a rollback.

When – if not today? Who – if not us?

Thank you very much.

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