Debate Heats Up in the Commission on the Status of Women

By KATIE JONES, THE STRAITS TIMES (expository)

The Commission on the Status of Women have narrowed their focus to the topic of violence on women. There has been discussion as to whether hegemonic states should have oversight on the violence of women, or if the entire topic should just be left to the local communities to solve.

Smaller nations in the committee such as Belarus believe in focusing on creating stable institutions to combat violence. Belarus specifically called for an activation of community leaders and local leaders. According to the nation, women should be part of these leadership roles in the community.

Picture1.pngThe delegation of Belarus strongly believes in leaving decisions to the local authorities. 

Hegemons like the United States have created a firm stance on instituting large scale programs, meant to combat violence against women through oversight of governmental priorities. One of the primary focuses in the committee is gender equality.

In Singapore, women have become increasingly more equal to men in recent years. According to the Human Development Report by the United Nations, Singapore ranks 13 out of 155 nations for high levels of gender equality. This would make the nation the leading Asian country in promoting equality between men and women.

Women have increased status in reproductive health and empowerment. In Singapore, women having secondary education increased from 57 percent to 71 percent in 2011. Women hold over a quarter of the seats in parliament in Singapore.

Amnesty International was present at the committee, stating that there needs to be a large focus on governmental affairs, such as corruption. The NGO also wanted to discuss how the government pressures women to fit society in a certain manner. Amnesty International hopes to work with other nations that have similar goals in order to protect women from violence.

Singapore has consistently been a strong advocate for women in the workforce as well as the home. The Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations strives to balance work and school so that parents can share the roles of caring for their child. This removes the stigma and burden that women should remain only in the home as a caretaker.

The committee will continue to discuss who has the ultimate control on stopping the violence on women. Whether it be local control, or international oversight, solutions will seek to achieve a model similar to Singapore—women with the same equality and rights as men in society.

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