Welcome

Speech by Elke Ferner (Parliamentary Secretary of State for the Federal Minister for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth) in the General Debate of the 61st session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women

Press release

Thank you, Madam Chair,

Distinguished colleagues!

I.

Germany aligns itself with the statement of the European Union.

May I thank you very much for your trust, which has enabled us to represent the WEOG (Western European and Others Group) in the office of the CSW for the past two years?

We have gladly fulfilled our responsibility for gender equality in this committee, and will pass the baton to Ireland after the session.

What impressed us the most during last year's CSW? The successful deliberations of the closing document! All countries contributed to a resolution with determination and willingness to compromise. So why don’t we continue where we left off?

II.

Gender equality is a human right. However isn’t the international order in a state of upheaval at present?

Human rights and values, set forth by the United Nations, are partially questioned and violated in favorof national interests or populist’s sake. And what do these developments jeopardize? Long and hard fought women's rights!

We still need progress in gender equality policy, even in the 21st century! We simply cannot afford to slide back to the old times. No country in the world has already achieved actual gender equality.

Women and men are still fighting worldwide for equal participation, recognition and realization of their life concepts, regardless of gender, disabilities, origin or sexual identity.

Where does their commitment take place? Literally everywhere!

That is why our involvement with the office of the CSW is geared towards establishing a continuous exchange with civil society, NGO’s and human rights institutions.

So you can probably imagine how excited I am, that many NGO’ representatives from Germany and from a lot of other countries are actively participating at the CSW.

III.

The 2030 agenda emphasizes the connection between sustainable development and the equality of women and men.

How does Germany contribute? Through our gender equality policy - nationally as well as internationally.

About two years ago a gender quota for leadership positions was introduced in Germany.

It is showing already: the percentage of women on supervisory boards is increasing - the quota is working.

In Parliament we are currently deliberating the law for salary transparency. It is a contribution to the ongoing effort to close the pay gap. What are we aiming to achieve with this new law? More transparency of salary structures will help women to finally receive the same compensation as men for equal work and work of equal value.

In addition to that, we are improving the reconciliation of family and work. We are adding childcare options and support both parents in their quest to have more time for their jobs and their family.

We especially want to create incentives for fathers as well.

That is important for a partnership-based, satisfactory reconciliation of family and work.

And don't we all agree that an increased sense of partnership leads to more gender equality?

We are also realizing our responsibility within an international context.

We put Germany's G20 presidency under these headlines:

· Ensuring stability

· Improving viability for the future

· Accepting responsibility.

Empowering women and developing gender equality are very important matters for us during our G20 presidency.

What, among other things, is needed to achieve this?

- The advancement, support and integration of the W20 group.

- With the initiative #eSkills4girls we want to close the gender gap in the digital age.

And we focus on job quality. That includes agreements in the areas of
compensation, job security and working conditions.

How do we look at the world of work? We consider it a place, where it is decided if equal rights for women can prevail.

In the chances for education and professional success, in the access to work and capital, compensation and working conditions, in the reconciliation of family and job. Worldwide sustainable growth and development are only possible, if women have equal opportunities!

Thank you so much for your attention!

Related content

Top of page