Statement of H.E. Mr. Muhammad Abdul Muhith, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations at the First Regular Session of the UN-Women Executive Board, 2023, 13 February 2023

Thank you, Mr. President. Allow me to begin by congratulating you and other members of the Bureau on your election. You can rest assured of my personal as well as my delegation’s full support throughout your Presidency.

I also wish to thank you – madame Executive Director, for your opening remarks. I could not agree more with you that 2023 is likely be the most challenging year ever for the UN-Women. We appreciate the efforts of UN-Women in fulfilling its mandate in this complex, ever changing international landscape. We also commend your leadership and the steps taken to strengthen the accountability, transparency, and effectiveness of the organization.

Excellencies and Distinguished Members of the Executive Board,

Escalating conflicts, climate vulnerabilities, economic, food, and energy crises have reversed many of the gains of Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development. The negative impacts of the overlapping crises are severely impacting the women and girls, further widening the gender gaps.

In this backdrop, allow me to highlight a few reflections:

First, the latest available SDG 5 data show that the world is not on track to achieve gender equality by 2030. UN-Women and DESA Report on ‘Progress on Sustainable Development Goals: The Gender Snapshot 2022’ emphasizes the interlinkages among the goals and stresses that gender equality plays the pivotal role in achieving progress across all the SDGs. However, lack of gender disaggregated data has made it more difficult to track the progress of SDGs, in particular SDG 5.

We would like to know, Madam Executive Director, what is the approach of UN-Women in ensuring availability of gender disaggregated data to advance gender responsive implementation of the Agenda 2030?

Second, The long-term impacts of COVID and economic downturn are leading to hardship for women. Extreme poverty and malnutrition have been projected to deepen for women and girls globally. They are more likely than men to experience food insecurity and malnutrition.  Inadequate and unpredictable funding for gender equality priorities mars prospects for real change.

We would like to know your strategies for innovative financing and plans to mobilize more resources and enhance investment in women and girls to finance gender equality.

Finally, the high prevalence of violence against women and girls remains a significant concern everywhere including in our own region. The expansion of digital space has heightened risk of cyber security, intensifying the range of crimes that affect women.

The upcoming 67th session of the Commission on the Status of Women will deliberate on impacts of digital technology on women and girls. How do you think we can ensure women and girls’ safe and equal access to innovation, technology and education in this digital age, and protect them from online based violence. What are the opportunities for UN Women to collaborate with national governments in this area including in the context of ‘women, peace and security’ agenda?

I thank you all.