Permanent Mission of Australia
to the United Nations
New York

220314 - MIKTA Joint Statement to the 66th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women


14 March 2022

Statement delivered by the Türkish Minister of Family and Social Services, Dery Yanik, on behalf of MIKTA countries – Mexico, Indonesia, Republic of Korea, Türkiye, and Australia – on the occasion of the 66th session of the Commission on the Status of Women.

MIKTA countries are strong supporters of the rules-based international system, good global governance, and the protection of human rights. The achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls is central to this collective ethos and is a core priority for MIKTA.

Climate change is no longer a distant potential threat but a sustainable development challenge, with broader impacts not only on the environment but also on economic and social development and rights.

Although acutely felt by every one of us around the world, climate change and disasters have a disproportionate impact on women and girls, as they face gender-based discrimination, represent the majority of the world's poor and are more dependent on threatened natural resources.

Climate change and disasters threaten to cut back the hard-earned progress on human rights, gender equality and poverty reduction as climate- and environment-related problems tend to reinforce existing inequalities, similar to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although women and girls bear the unequal burdens of climate change, we recognize that they are also dynamic driving forces in climate action, disaster risk reduction and resilience building.

With this understanding, we welcome the primary theme of this year’s session of the CSW which seeks to address the interconnected challenges of gender equality, climate change, environment, and disaster risk reduction and resilience.

In this context, we would like to highlight four main points:

First, we reaffirm the powerful role that women play in food security and the management and conservation of natural resources, including soil and water.

In accelerating implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, it is crucial to ensure that the voices of women are heard as leaders and decision makers.

It is vital that climate and disaster risk reduction action and strategy be gender-responsive and inclusive, including through engagement of women and girls in policy planning, development, implementation and monitoring.

MIKTA countries strongly support the full, equal and meaningful participation of all women in decision-making, as well as leadership and representation, at all levels in climate efforts and environmental and disaster risk reduction policies.

Eliminating structural barriers, discriminatory social norms and stereotypes, and promoting gender-responsive policies and programs that empower all women and girls is the only way to substantively achieve this goal.

Second, as the impacts of climate change and disasters become a challenging part of daily life for women and girls, it is critical that the unpaid care and domestic work be recognized, valued, equitably redistributed, and resourced through the provision of public services, infrastructure, and social protection policies.

Third, we strongly condemn all forms of gender-based violence which is a human rights violation and a major impediment to achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls and we call on all Member States to strongly support efforts to prevent, punish and eliminate it.

We are concerned that the impact of disasters, climate change and environmental challenges heighten the risk of sexual and gender-based violence.

There is a strong need to ensure the provision of essential services to victims and survivors of violence, such as access to sexual and reproductive health, as well as to mental health, psychosocial and livelihoods support.

Finally, we commit to ensuring that all women and girls have equal and safe access to information and communications technology and to the Internet.

Moreover, disaggregated data literacy and gender analysis should be strengthened including in relation to unpaid care and domestic work, sexual and reproductive health, gender-based violence and harmful practices, access to and management of resources, migration and displacement.

In this regard, we support the efforts on expanding high-quality, timely and reliable data disaggregated, including by income, gender, age, race, ethnicity, migratory status, disability, geographic location and other characteristics relevant in national contexts to better understand the impacts of climate change and disasters and help drive gender-responsive policy responses.

We still have a long way until the full realization of our shared vision set out in the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, including “women and environment” as one of the critical areas of concern.

MIKTA countries are committed to ensuring that climate change and environmental challenges and disasters do not undermine our progress towards gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.

The plight of women suffering through war must be addressed as no country remains immune. For years women and girls around the world have suffered disproportionately from the impacts of war and they continue to be excluded from political dialogue, peace-processes and decision-making.

When it comes to conflict - like the ongoing aggression in Ukraine - there are no winners. But the main victims - those disproportionally impacted - are women and children.

To protect the most vulnerable, the maximum restraints must be implemented in Ukraine.

Safe passage for all civilians fleeing this aggression must be facilitated. Rapid and unhindered access for humanitarian assistance for those unable to flee Ukraine must be guaranteed.

As we convene in this chamber for the rights of all women and girls, it is our moral obligation not to forsake those in the midst of conflict. Now is the time to work for peace for today, and tomorrow, and for all the people of the world.