The United Nations Commission on the Status of Women began its 46th session today at the UN headquarters in New York. During the two-week long session, the Commission will discuss empowering women worldwide. Included in this discussion will be the situation for women and girls in Afghanistan and measures to help ensure the eradication of all forms of discrimination against them. Secretary-General Kofi Annan has declared that the Afghan interim government may be called upon to ensure women’s participation in the loya jirga, to repeal orders that discriminate against women, and to bring to justice those responsible for committing “gross violations of women’s human rights in the past.”
The Commission will also focus on the effect of globalization on the status of women and strategies to empower women as a means of ending poverty. Women in conflict situations will also be considered, specifically woman and child hostages as well as the situation of Palestinian women refugees and the role that they can play in peace-building in the region.