Ms PhumzileMlambo-Ngcuka, UN Women Executive Director has noted that the ravages of COVID-19 have affected the lives and livelihoods of women and girls from higher job losses, shrinking work hours, and greater care burdens.
“It has also increased the levels of all forms of violence against women, with the development gains of decades reversed in multiple areas,” Ms Mlambo-Ngcuka stated in a UN Women document titled: “This is the time to ramp up, not decrease funding for women and girls,” copied to the Ghana News Agency at Tema on Tuesday.
Ms Mlambo-Ngcukanoted, therefore, noted with concern the intention of the Government of the United Kingdom to reduce funding to UN Women’s regular resources by approximately 60 per cent, from GBP 12.5 million (USD 15.9 million) to GBP 5 million (USD 6.9 million) for 2021.
The UN Women said reductions such as these would have a major impact on its ability to support both immediate and long-term aspects of global COVID-19 response and recovery, such as life-saving assistance and support to women’s livelihoods and income generation.
Ms Mlambo-Ngcuka acknowledged that since 2013 UK has provided UN Women with stable funds in the regular core resources that provided the institutional financial backbone for UN Women’s role as a champion, convenor, and catalyst for the advancement of women’s rights.
“We depend on these core funds to adapt quickly and effectively to emerging needs and to help us raise additional investments in strategies proven to accelerate change,” the UN Women Executive Director noted.
Ms Mlambo-Ngcuka lamented: “The reduction would also affect UN Women’s venture in advising governments on meeting the needs of survivors of the ‘Shadow Pandemic’ of gender-based violence.
“This reversal is deeply alarming both as a loss of critical funds to women and girls and as a potential weakening of the global community’s commitment to this central Sustainable Development Goal, just at the moment where strength and sustained support is most needed”.
“This regression is an urgent driver to further ramp up investment in gender equality and women’s empowerment, an area where both global and national efforts remain chronically underfunded, despite its importance for the 2030 Agenda,” Ms Mlambo-Ngcuka stated.
The UN Women, therefore, appealed to the UK to continue championing gender equality and women’s empowerment, including through its G7 and COP 26 Presidencies and to build global solidarity.
“We count on UK’s continued support, for example as a co-lead of the global Generation Equality Action Coalition on Gender-based Violence, to mobilize concrete, ambitious and sustainable commitments towards achieving gender equality as we prepare for the Generation Equality Forum in Paris from 29 June to 2 July 2021.
Ms Mlambo-Ngcukaalso acknowledged the United Kingdom’s long-standing partnership with UN Women, for showing strong leadership on gender equality issues. “We, therefore, look forward to a prompt reinstatement of the full 0.7 per cent aid commitment”.
The UN Women Executive Director stressed that partners’ continued committed engagement and support are more critical than ever to ensure that no woman or girl is left behind.