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Amherd emphasizes Switzerland’s commitment to women’s rights in New York

Updated at 11 Mar 2024 9:40 pm

At the 68th annual session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UN) in New York on Monday, President Viola Amherd reaffirmed Switzerland's commitment to promoting the rights of women and girls. The fight against poverty and a gender-equitable strengthening of financial policy are at the center of this year's debates.

In her speech in the general debate of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) on Monday (local time), Amherd presented the priorities of the Gender Equality Strategy 2030, which Switzerland is committed to in its domestic and foreign policy.

This includes promoting professional equality by increasing women's access to the labor market and promoting equal pay for work of equal value, a better work-life balance and combating discrimination, sexism and violence.

"The strength of the community is measured by the well-being of its weakest member", the Federal Councillor quoted the Swiss constitution. This vision also shapes the Sustainable Development Goals, especially the first goal of eradicating poverty. The promotion of women's rights and their economic empowerment are priorities for Switzerland. However, despite progress in gender equality, the challenges remain great in this country too.

Women, peace and security

"We cannot say it loud enough: equality between women and men is not only a fundamental human right, but the prerequisite for a peaceful world, for prosperity and sustainability," Amherd continued. "We cannot say it loudly enough: Switzerland condemns sexual violence in all conflict situations: in Afghanistan, Haiti, the Middle East, Sudan and Ukraine. We call for the perpetrators of these atrocities not to go unpunished."

It is up to everyone to implement the UN Security Council's Women, Peace and Security agenda. There is an urgent need to create the conditions, including economic conditions, so that women can make an equal contribution to peace processes and at all decision-making levels. "Switzerland has placed this commitment at the heart of its mandate in the Security Council," concluded the President of the Swiss Confederation.

At the meeting, Amherd also exchanged views with German-speaking ministers on the challenges of gender equality in society. Via Platform X, the President of the Swiss Confederation also announced on Monday evening that she had spoken with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres about Switzerland's commitment to the UN, the Agenda for Peace and Switzerland's support for humanitarian demining. The peace conference planned by Switzerland for Ukraine was also discussed.

©Keystone/SDA

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