• 62nd session of UN Commission on the Status of Women in New York on 12-23 March
  • Priority theme: gender equality and empowerment of rural women and girls
  • MEPs call for better access of rural women to education, healthcare, entrepreneurship, and decision-making processes

The Parliament adopted its recommendation to the Council on the EU priorities for the 62nd session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women on Thursday.

The 62nd session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (UN CSW), which will be held in the UN headquarters in New York on 12-23 March, will focus on ‘‘the challenges and opportunities in achieving gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls’’.


In the report in which MEPs give their recommendation to the Council ahead of the event, adopted in Plenary by 417 votes in favour, 48 against and 72 abstentions, MEPs urge, inter alia, to:


  • Ensure that rural women have access to affordable and high quality education enabling them to develop their skills;
  • Guarantee that they can easily access credit and receive support on their entrepreneurial initiatives;
  • Safeguard access to high-quality healthcare and social protection systems;
  • Support and promote their participation in decision-making in the areas of rural policies, health, education and agriculture; and,
  • Develop employment policies to address the precarious situation of rural women, who can face many forms of discrimination based on sex, age, class, religion or gender identity.




Co-rapporteur Izaskun Bilbao Barandica (ALDE, ES) said: ‘‘Women in rural areas suffer from profound discrimination. They need a legal status that guarantees their access to land ownership, economic activity, social security and credit. They need social services to be able to reconcile work and family life. They must access at decision processes. A supposedly fair world offers to many rural women the terrible dilemma of choosing between the bad and the worst. This report want to change that reality. Getting it is everyone's responsibility.’’


Co-rapporteur Àngela Vallina (GUE/NGL, ES) said: ‘‘In the world, poverty has a woman face. In order to break the vicious circle of poverty, it is indispensable to drive the empowerment of women and girls, especially in the rural areas. It is thus essential to take global, common, transversal measures and we cannot wait any longer. EU has a very powerful tool, which is its Development Policy and the funding linked to it. This policy must serve the commitments and goals underpinned in the frame of the UN Millennium Development Goals.’’ 


Next steps


A delegation from the Parliament’s Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Committee will attend the UN CSW on March 18-22, and will meet UN representatives, key partners, national delegations representatives as well as NGOs and civil society organisations.




The Commission on the Status of Women is the main global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women. It was established by Council resolution 11(II) of 21 June 1946.


During the Commission’s annual two-week session, representatives of UN Member States, civil society organisations and UN entities gather at UN headquarters in New York. They discuss emerging issues that affect gender equality and the empowerment of women.