Women empowerment: initiative in NAM countries

Non Aligned Movement, an initiative that was formulated after the probability of cold war was learned. The NAM countries are the ones which do not desire to be aligned with any geopolitical or military structure under super powers. Since then these countries have been finding solutions for the regional problems within their reach. Around 120 countries are the part of this group and 17 countries act as the observer of the same. Many issues have been dealt with under this huge structure of developing countries alliance, focusing on social issues that would help in development of countries on a whole.

Women empowerment has always been a part of concern of the summit held by the NAM countries. The condition of women has been observed on a large scale in Asian countries and other NAM countries. The discriminatory behavior and lack of equality has been observed by the world. Women’s condition has always been a major concern for societies and leaders, especially in modern times. The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), a vast grouping of countries that adhere to common principles in dealing with relationships between states that has been discussing the role of women in the development of their societies for some time.

NAM countries have been conducting conferences to discuss social problems and find solution for the same. The summit has shown wide range of conferences conducted aiming at finding solutions dealing from economic crisis to development of women and children. The aim of the conferences is to find easy and quick solution to all kind of social problems in NAM countries face. The special summit was conducted for ‘Advancement and Empowerment of Women’. The first Ministerial meet conducted by the NAM members was to give women a platform for empowerment and help them face globalization issues.

Women’s empowerment is an important goal in itself – but it is also the key to realizing all of the other major international development targets. That is because healthy, productively employed and politically engaged women can drive efforts to eradicate hunger, disease and poverty. Since the adoption of the Millennium Development Goals, there has been remarkable progress on the gender agenda, with countries working to reduce inequalities in education, employment and political representation. The Ministerial meet also has taken initiatives to work for better job opportunities for working women and for those who find it difficult to work, various options to them be provided.

NAM meets have always followed and given women importance in the meets. Women had their share in virtually all NAM meetings and conferences, demonstrating the movement’s firm commitment to women’s cause. Hence a summit of First Ladies was held in the same time as the 15th Summit of the NAM in Sharm el Sheikh – Egypt on July 11 to 16, 2009, which stressed the important role women can play to fight crises, the need to stop violence against them, the need to increase their involvement in public life and decision-making, and the importance of giving them a better access to education.

The meet held in Egypt in 2009, focused on providing development platform to the women in the world, especially women from Asian countries were considered as neglected population. One of the female speaker from Afghanistan dragged attention the meet towards the high mortality rate of women in Afghanistan. She informed the members about the critical situation of women of that country, average age of survival of women there is 44years. High mortality rate among women suggested mal nutrition, health complications and gender based violence which is common in state of Afghanistan.  The meet then requested the authorities to contemplate policies for the welfare of women. The Doha Declaration  reaffirm the Beijing Declaration and its Platform for Action, the Cairo Declaration and its Programme of Action, the outcomes of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly, entitled “Women 2000: Gender Equality, Development and Peace for the Twenty-First Century”, the Millennium Declaration and the Millennium Development Goals, the Beijing Declaration of the forty-ninth session of the Commission on the Status of Women in 2005, as well as important contributions made by the above-mentioned Commission to the advancement of women worldwide, including empowerment of women and achieving gender equality. To resolve and to eliminate all forms of discrimination and violence against women and the girl child, especially in situations of armed conflict and foreign occupation, thus ensuring the respect of all human rights which enable them to develop and achieve their full potential in all areas.

The meet had reaffirm commitment to actively promote the mainstreaming of a gender perspective in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies and programs in all political, economic and social spheres, ensuring full representation and full and equal participation of women as critical factors in the eradication of poverty. The eradication of poverty, particularly the eradication of the feminization of poverty, is one of the greatest global challenges facing the world today and is an indispensable requirement for achieving sustainable development, in particular in developing countries. This should be highlighted in the context of the coming United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development.

In this regard, emphasis is done by the NAM countries, the significant role that women play in economic development and in the eradication of poverty. The meet also has taken steps to facilitate the participation of women for application of the economic development strategies to eradicate poverty, to ensure their access to knowledge, and to support the improvement of food security. Moreover, the persistent inequalities, the discrimination against women and the lack of their economic empowerment limit their access to goods, resources, education, services and other development benefits, as well as deepen economic inequalities and injustices affecting women in the areas of the family, community, politics and labor market. The aim of empowering women is only possible when international organizations support the concept and the countries follow the footsteps for the same.

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