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Why the 68th annual Commission on the Status of Women (CSW68) matters | The Business Show

The 68th annual Commission on the Status of Women (CSW68), the UN’s largest annual gathering on gender equality and women’s empowerment, took place on 11 – 22 March 2024 under the priority theme, “Accelerating the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls by addressing poverty and strengthening institutions and financing with a gender perspective”.

The world is at a crucial crossroad for gender equality. Globally 10.3% of women live in extreme poverty today, and they are poorer than men. Progress towards ending poverty needs to be 26 times faster to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

Accelerated progress requires investment. Data from 48 developing economies shows that an additional $360 billion is needed per year to achieve gender equality and women’s empowerment across key global goals, including to end poverty and hunger.

In this decisive year, as 2.6 billion people go to the polls to cast their votes, they have the power to demand higher investment in gender equality.

Solutions to end women’s poverty are widely recognized: investing in policies and programmes that address gender inequalities and boosting women’s agency and leadership. Such investments yield enormous dividends: Over 100 million women and girls could be lifted out of poverty if governments prioritized education and family planning, fair and equal wages, and expanded social benefits. Almost 300 million jobs could be created by 2035 through investments in care services. Closing gender gaps in employment could boost Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita by 20% across all regions.

At CSW68, governments, civil society organizations, experts and activists from across the world came together to agree on actions and investments that can end women’s poverty and advance gender equality.

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The 68th annual Commission on the Status of Women (CSW68) is the UN’s largest annual gathering on gender equality and women’s empowerment and took place on 11 – 22 March 2024. Arif is joined by a range of guests from the Commonwealth Businesswomen’s Network (CBWN) who were there from across the world to discuss key takeaways and outcomes from the meeting.

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