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Thank you for taking an intersectional approach; a short review of the United Nations 66th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW)

Published: 06.04.2022
Louisa Syrett Global Advocacy Advisor
The Fred Hollows Foundation
Climate Disaster/ Photographer: Barry Orr

“Achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls in the context of climate change, environmental and disaster risk reduction policies and programmes” was the theme of the 66th UN CSW which met in New York from the 14th to the 25th of March 2022.

It was the first time the CSW had tackled such a clearly intersectional topic, highlighting the multidimensional approach required as the world continues to miss opportunities to tackle the climate crisis, which undoubtably, has a greater affect on those living in low-income settings.

In the case of eye health, women and girls are more likely to be blind or vision impaired than men or boys. Of the 1.1 billion people with untreated vision loss, 55 percent are women and most live in low-income settings.  By taking an intersectional approach, the CSW is able to take into account how these multiple layers of disadvantage lead to continued inequities for women and girls globally.

The 66th CSW Agreed Conclusions urges all governments, working with the relevant entities of the UN system, alongside civil society, women’s organisations, youth-led organisations, feminist groups, faith based organisations, the private sector and national human rights institutions as well as any other relevant stakeholder to take the following actions:

  • Strengthen normative, legal and regulatory frameworks
  • Integrate gender perspectives into climate change, environmental and disaster risk reduction policies and programmes
  • Expand gender-responsive finance
  • Enhance gender statistics and data disaggregated by sex
  • Foster a gender responsive, just transition

For me, this builds on the newly released 2030 In Sight strategy from IAPB which calls on the eye health sector to ELEVATE vision as a fundamental, economic, social and development issue; INTEGRATE eye health in wider health care systems; and, ACTIVE consumer and market change.

With increased action on gender equity, alongside the climate change urgency, every part of the world can make progress towards sustainable development by 2030, leaving no one behind.

For more information on how climate change impacts eye health.

Learn more on why gender equity matters.

Photo Credit: Barry Orr/ The Fred Hollows Foundation