Ministerial Round Table 2 – Good Practices in the empowerment of rural women and girls

Ministerial round table 2

‘Good practices in the empowerment of rural women and girls, including through access to education, infrastructure, technology and nutrition’

Monday, 12 March 2018, 4.30 – 6.00 pm
Conference Room 4, Conference Building

Chair: H.E. Ms. Margaret Kobia, Cabinet Secretary for Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs, Kenya

A blog by Pat Black

“During the first week of CSW we have a series of Ministerial Round Tables which are designed to encourage the senior members of Governments to attend and take part. As with the Opening Session NGO participants are allowed to attend in very small numbers – 1 per registered organisation so tickets are again much coveted.

However, many a fresh delegate has been disappointed having received a rare ticket. There is an expectation that the Ministers taking part will be significant figures and politicians in their countries, but so often it turns out to be a junior minister or an assistant. There was a small frisson of excitement when a rumour ran around that Donald Trump would be in New York but of course this turned out to be false news!

The other disappointment for first time attendees is that although described on the order of work as an interactive session this turns out to be a series of pre- prepared statements from a selection of Member States describing how wonderful the work their Government has been and what great progress they have made in enriching the lives of women and girls.

One Minister broke this pattern with a very emotional statement made from the heart. During the session ‘Good practices in the empowerment of rural women and girls through access to education, infrastructure and technology, food security and nutrition”, Her Excellency Oumou Traore Toure, Minister of Advancement of Women, Children and Family, Mali, outlined the tragic decline in her country.

She described how the country was living through a security crisis with violent forms of terrorism destroying everything. Mrs Oumou Toure related how in the past Mali had all the positive progress in education, health and other areas which her African sisters had outlined for their countries but now progress is very slow. The country is weakened by drugs and subject to the impact of climate change she said.  She called on the international community to do everything they could to support the Government in their attempts to turn this situation around.

This was a brave statement amongst the many country statements proclaiming how good they had been at achieving so much for women and girls and such a stark contrast to their upbeat optimism.  Was anyone else listening to her appeal?

Discussion guide for the ministerial round tables to be held under the priority theme “Challenges and opportunities in achieving gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls” HERE

Full list of particpants HERE


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