New UN report on families in a changing world puts ‘women’s rights at their core’

UN Women/Mariken Harbitz Changing families give rise to needed policy changes. Sao Mimol kisses her partner in Cambodia during an LGBT Pride event.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.


While women’s rights have advanced over the decades, gender inequalities and other fundamental human rights violations within families persist, according to a flagship study released on Tuesday, from the UN’s gender empowerment agency.

UN Women’s new report, “Progress of the World’s Women 2019-2020: Families in a Changing World”, shows that families, in all their diversity, “can be critical drivers of gender equality, provided decision-makers deliver policies rooted in the reality of how people live today, with women’s rights at their core”, said UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.

But it also adds that families can also be breeding grounds of conflict, inequality and, far too often, violence.

Anchored in global data, innovative analysis and specific case studies, the report paints a picture of the diversity of families globally and provides recommendations to support laws and policies that meet the needs of all family members, especially women and girls, and concrete proposals for implementation.

“Around the world, we are witnessing concerted efforts to deny women’s agency and their right to make their own decisions in the name of protecting ‘family values’”, Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka stated.

Today, three billion women and girls live in countries where rape within marriage is not explicitly criminalized. But injustice and violations take other forms as well. In one-out-of-five countries, girls do not have the same inheritance rights as boys, while in a total of 19 others, women are legally required to obey their husbands. Moreover, in developing countries, about one-third of married women report having little or no say over their own healthcare decisions.

What’s trending

The report observed that the average marriage age has increased in all regions while birth rates have declined, and women overall have increased economic autonomy. Globally, 38 per cent of households are couples with children; and 27 per cent are extended families, including other relatives.

Single-parent families led by women, comprise eight per cent of households, where women have to juggle paid work, child-rearing and unpaid domestic work. Same-sex families are increasingly visible in all regions.

The study notes that women continue to enter the labour market in large numbers, but marriage and motherhood reduce their participation rates along with the income and benefits that come with it.

Half of married women between the ages of 25 and 54, two-thirds of single women and 96 per cent of married men, participate in the global labour force, according to new data. The fact that women continue to do three times as much unpaid care and domestic work as men, is a major driver of these inequalities.

The report sheds some positive light on parental leave, with an uptick in participation by fathers, particularly in countries where specific incentives, such as ‘daddy quotas’, are in place.

Report recommendations:

  • Amend and reform family laws to ensure that women can choose whether, when and who to marry; and enable women’s access to family resources.
  • Recognize diverse forms of partnership, to protect women in cohabiting and same-sex partnerships.
  • Invest in public services, especially reproductive healthcare, to expand women’s and girls’ life choices.
  • Push for social protection systems, such as paid parental leave and State support for children and older care to sustain families.
  • Ensure women’s safety by implementing laws to eliminate violence against women and girls and provide justice and support for violence survivors.

It also points out that families serve as a home for equality and justice, which is not only a moral imperative, but essential to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the world’s most comprehensive agenda to ensure human progress.

The UN Women chief cited research and evidence showing “that there is no ‘standard’ form of family, nor has there ever been”.

Advertising

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Commission challenges Council over EU 2014 budget

Our food system is pushing nature to the brink. Here’s what we need to do

Property regimes for international couples in Europe: new rules apply in 18 Member States as of today

5 things to know about the Western Balkans

The migration crisis is slowly melting the entire EU edifice

COP21 Breaking News_12 December: Another sleepless night for the negotiators before Indaba meeting

One year on from #MeToo, what’s changed?

A young doctor from Glasgow reports: in the UK refugees are left to rot

Can Kiev make face to mounting economic problems and social unrest?

‘I thought I’d never get out alive’ – the Muslim director who interviewed neo-Nazis

Berlin vies for a Germanic European Central Bank

Google once more under EU crossfire from a possible record fine and new Right to be forgotten case

The Brexit factor in the US-China trade war and other conflicts

State aid: Commission approves €50 million Italian support scheme for production and supply of medical equipment and masks during Coronavirus outbreak

Here’s how to rebut the climate doom-mongers

This warehouse is one of the world’s greenest industrial buildings

Why the Fourth Industrial Revolution could spell more jobs – not fewer

It’s time to end our ‘separate but unequal’ approach to mental health

A Sting Exclusive: “Climate change and youth inaction: oblivion or nonchalance?”, AIESEC wonders from Brussels

Health Education, is it a necessity?

Passwords should become a thing of the past. Here’s why

Syria: UN-backed watchdog says chemical weapon ‘likely used’ in February attack

The ECB proposes a swift solution for SMEs’ financing

The eight types of AI you should know about

Security Council approves ‘historic’ political Haiti mission, ending UN peacekeeping role in the country

G20 LIVE: “International communities and leaders have great expectations for 2016 G20 summit in Hangzhou China”, Mr Wang Xiaolong, the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s special envoy stresses live from G20 in Antalya Turkey

Strong multilateral institutions key to tackling world’s dramatic challenges, UN chief says In Moscow

This woman changed the world of work – and you’ve probably never heard of her

The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page

Humanitarian visas to avoid refugees’ deaths

Hostilities in Syria’s southwest, mean cuts in vital aid across Jordanian border: Senior UN official

FROM THE FIELD: India’s plastic waste revolution

Car-free day – and the other 364 days of the year

Australia now has 25 million people. Will it choose to keep growing?

Scores of Rohingya refugee shelters in Bangladesh destroyed by flooding

Hospitals in Yemen attacked, disrupting healthcare for thousands of vulnerable civilians

Social Committee teaches Van Rompuy a lesson

OECD sees global growth slowing, as Europe weakens and risks persist

EU and India re-open talks over strategic partnership while prepare for a Free Trade Agreement

Road to Brexit: the UK seeks early agreement on Data Privacy with the EU

Security Union: political agreement on strengthened Schengen Information System

‘Tenacious’ Kyrgyz lawyer and statelessness champion, wins prestigious UNHCR prize

Why and how Germany had it again its own way in Cyprus

When connectivity is not enough: the key to meaningful digital inclusion

EU Parliament shows its teeth in view of 2014 elections

Risks rising in corporate debt market

There is a forgotten solution to climate change that we must invest in – nature

Afghanistan: Civilian casualties caused by IEDs has reached ‘extreme levels’, UN warns

Worldwide consumer confidence has shot up to its highest level for four years according to a survey of 130 Global Retail leaders

Nagasaki is ‘a global inspiration’ for peace, UN chief says marking 73rd anniversary of atomic bombing

Why protectionism spells trouble for global economic growth

Employment: Commission proposes €1.6 million from Globalisation Adjustment Fund to help 400 workers made redundant in Carrefour Belgique

A Sting Exclusive: why the environment is important to your health, by UNEP’s Head for Europe

The European Internet is not neutral and neither is the Commissioner

EU launches WTO challenge against Indonesian restrictions on raw materials

A Sting Exclusive: “Climate change-the biggest global health threat of the 21st century, yet overlooked in climate negotiations?” IFMSA wonders from COP21 in Paris

‘No safe way’ into battle-scarred Afghan city of Ghazni to deliver aid as traumatized children search for parents

Password managers aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. Here’s why

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed wins Nobel Peace Prize

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s