United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Bhutan, Thailand and Viet Nam

Statement by Thailand on behalf of the Troika of Bhutan, Thailand and Viet Nam
at the Eleventh Session of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals Focus area 5. Gender equality and women's empowerment
6 May 2014

Thank you Mr. Co-Chair,
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Troika comprising Bhutan,
Viet Nam, and my country, Thailand. We associate ourselves with the statement of the G77 and China delivered by the distinguished representative of Bolivia.

On Focus Area 5: Gender equality and women’s empowerment. Our troika is convinced that to achieve a true gender equality and women empowerment, we must address their structural impediments. We should strive to combat discrimination and violence against women in both laws and practises to unleash the full potential capabilities of all women.

In this regard, our Troika fully supports the Co-Chairs' proposed;
- target a) end all forms of discrimination against women of all ages and;
- target b) end violence against women and girls in all its forms.

We are pleased that targets a) and b) encompass the need to eliminate "all forms" of discrimination and violence against women as in many cases violence and discrimination are embedded in social harmful practices. In other cases, it is the lack of implementation even though there are laws in place.

We also welcome the inclusion of "all ages" in target a) as older women sometimes face double discrimination on the basis of both gender and age. Many older women face poverty at a time of life when they are very vulnerable. Therefore, attention should be given to ensure older women's basic rights are protected in SDGs.

On target e), we propose to delete “including natural resource management” because this is under the realm of responsibility of governments rather than individual persons.

Mr. Co-Chair,
Our troika supports the proposed target i) ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health, and reproductive rights.

Finally, our troika supports the proposed target j) on gender disaggregated data. We believe that to attain gender equality for all, particularly the most marginalised, data is needed to ensure that basic services can and do reach them. More importantly, data collection is crucial to formulate evidence-based policies and address violence and discrimination at their root causes.

Thank you Mr. Co-Chair.