Press Release | GA Third Committee Approves Text Stressing Critical Importance of Women's Political Participation 18 Nov 2011
Source: General Assembly
Type: United Nations
Theme: Human Rights, Elections, Women, Peace, Security
Country: Global

Language: English

This press release, entitled “Third Committee Approves Text Stressing Critical Importance of Women’s Political Participation in All Contexts – Peace, Conflict, Political Transition” published 18 November 2011, summarizes the draft approved by the General Assembly. This draft calls on states to create an environment that allows opportunity for all, especially women in society. The Committee also discussed the draft resolution on strengthening the United Nations action in the field of human rights. The meeting concluded with a discussion on the draft resolution on the protection of and assistance to internally displaced persons. 


The draft text — one of seven approved by consensus as the Committee closed in on its last week of scheduled work — would also have the Assembly call on States to accelerate the achievement of equality between men and women and, in all situations, including in situations of political transition, to promote and protect women's human rights.

Stressing that women embodied an enormous, but untapped potential in their political systems, the representative of the United States, which tabled the draft text, said it applied broadly to women everywhere, but paid particular attention this year to States in transition in light of recent historical developments.

To that end, the Assembly would further call on such States to take effective steps to ensure the participation of women on equal terms with men in all phases of political reform, from decisions on whether to call for reforms in existing institutions to decisions regarding transitional Governments, to the formulation of Government policy, to the means of electing new democratic Governments.

While enjoying unanimous support, the text’s references to “States in situations in political transition” elicited numerous expressions of regret from State delegations, several of which voiced alarm that negotiations on the text had been mishandled.  Of the seven speakers taking the floor on those points, nearly all stressed that the term “political transition” lacked a common, agreed understanding, with some suggesting its inclusion undermined the text’s larger objectives.