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66th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) – Ministerial Roundtable

Statement delivered by Minister for Equal Opportunities, Prof. Elena Bonetti, at the Ministerial Roundtable on “Women’s Voice and Agency: Good Practices towards Achieving Women’s Full, Equal and Meaningful Participation and Decision-Making in the context of Climate Change, Environmental and Disaster Risk Reduction Policies and Programmes” —


Dear Colleagues,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am honored to take part in this Ministerial Roundtable with distinguished representatives from all over the world.

We are living in a time of deep crisis, where women have been hit harder than men. We cannot look away. There is an urgent need for common action to respond to this tragedy. Let me start by voicing Italy’s full solidarity and support for all women and girls living in situations of conflict. Let me confirm, here, that we stand in solidarity with the women and girls of Ukraine. They are reacting with courage and resilience to the unprovoked Russian aggression. Our responsibility is to support and to assist them in these horrific circumstances.

We are now all aware that the complexity of the crisis we are living through needs new tools and a more deep and shared commitment on the part of the international community towards women’s empowerment – in particular, if we focus on the new challenges ahead of us, such as the fight against climate change and new policies for environment and disaster-risk mitigation. To tackle all of these issues, we need integrated and comprehensive global and local actions. And we need the key contribution of women together with men. To implement effective policies towards an inclusive, resilient, sustainable development for all, we must release the talents, energy, and proactive participation of women in all sectors of our society.

Achieving gender equality is a necessary condition to achieve sustainable development and to implement a global strategy for ecological transition. Empowering women means fighting against discrimination and, at the same time, removing all the obstacles preventing women from expressing their full potential and making their contribution to our common challenge.

For this reason, I promoted in Italy the adoption of the first National Strategy for Gender Equality. To achieve gender equality, we need a strategy – that means a vision, a method, and concrete actions. The method is clear: all policies must be planned and assessed through what is known as the gender mainstreaming approach. While it is crucial to ensure that women and men have the same opportunities and the same dignity in our societies, we also needto increase the number of women in decision-making roles. Then, let me also point out that a crucial step forward in our global agenda for ecological transition is represented by education: we must close the gap in STEM disciplines between men and women. We must encourage girls and young women to become agents of change and to participate, in the medium- and long-term, in the creation of green policies for real environmental sustainability and positive development.

I will listen carefully to the best practices and lessons learned from my colleagues, confirming the full participation and commitment of Italy in the network of the National Gender and Climate Change Focal Points for the best implementation of the Gender Action Plan adopted at the COP25.

I firmly believe that the voice and contribution of women and girls in every part of the world are today, more than ever, essential to tackling the climate and environmental challenges of our planet. We must transform this time of crisis into an opportunity. We cannot do without the contribution of women to rethink, build and project our world into the future. Now is the time to seize this opportunity.