Women and their condition has always been a matter of major concern for societies and leaders, and more so has been the case in modern times. With the increasing threat towards this gender and the upsurge in inequality towards them NAM involved itself to make a change and better the deteriorating situation. As women pay a crucial role in economic and social development of a family and on a larger level a nation, managing around 70-80% of food production, processing and marketing and managing small businesses and the lives of the ones related to her, NAM endeavours to not only examine the issues of women and what is holding them back by organising global conferences on women’s issues, also plays a lead role worldwide in inflating the process of “empowering women”.
NAM has till date held three ministerial meetings on the advancement of women discussing vital issues related to women and their further development. In this context the ‘Doha Declaration on the Family’ is termed as the first step towards the subject matter as it set fundamental principles regarding family interests and rights. Then came the first Non-Aligned Movement Ministerial Meeting held in Malaysia, 2005, titled “Empowering women in the face of the challenges of globalization”, it concentrated on matters like protecting women against wars and diseases, giving them better education, while granting them equal political, social and economic rights, also enforcing laws to protect them against domestic abuse.
It also focused on issues such as ways to increase their capacity and achieving gender equality in addition to eliminating all forms of discrimination against them, ensuring measures to strengthen the role of women in decision making politically and also in the field of technology. This very first meeting was also the origin of the NAM Institute for the Empowerment of Women (NIEW), which has since its conception been a standard-bearer for women and their causes.
The second Ministerial Meeting took place at Guatemala City, 2009, acknowledged and applauded all its previous resolutions in the view of women’s advancement while discussing all the achieved progress and other objectives which needed attention and care from the NAM countries. However, along with the second Ministerial Meeting, NAM also held its first summit of ‘First Ladies’ in Sharm el Sheikh – Egypt, 2009, which again stressed on critical issues of how vital women are for a nation to fight crisis, the need to cease any sort of violence against them, increasing their power and involvement in public as well as political scenarios, while emphasising on education for women hence proving NAM’s serious commitment to the cause of women and their development worldwide.
NAM held its third Ministerial Meeting on the advancement of women in Doha, 2012, which affirmed its declaration a continuation of its previous meetings and also in line with the Purtrajaya Declaration and Guatemala Declaration while reiterating the pledge and dedication of NAM member countries in exercising all possible efforts for the development and improvement of women condition while enhancing their participation in all fields.
The meeting also highlighted the achieved progress, addressing challenges and taking necessary action to make certain the complete implementation of Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action that was endorsed in the Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995. This meeting also realised that in addition to encouraging global participation for women welfare development one needs to understand completely and correctly how these implementations are to be done and what is particularly obstructing this progress. It realised that the problem doesn’t lie in the existence of laws and legislations that help promote women empowerment instead in the ability to implement them along with the existence of political will that put laws and legislations into effect.
NAM has been ardent in bringing a radical change in the condition of women calling on countries to end discriminatory laws, also asking nations to commit themselves to take series of actions to empower women. With NAM and its initiative there has been a gradual appreciative comprehension of the strategic significance of the status of women for growth, this has also led to recognition that discrimination against women is not a women’s question and to be fought by women alone but a nation’s need.