The 68th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW68) delivered today robust commitments by UN Member States to strengthen financing and institutions to eradicate women’s and girls’ poverty.

Globally, 10.3 per cent of women live in extreme poverty today, according to the report presented by the UN Secretary-General to the Commission, and progress towards ending poverty needs to be 26 times faster to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

The outcome document (or Agreed Conclusions) recognizes that women and girls living in poverty become ‘shock absorbers’ in times of crisis, and that further efforts are needed to increase resources to address women’s and girls’ poverty.

Acknowledging that the international financial architecture is not fit for a crisis-prone world, the Commission called for reforms to enable countries to mobilize and invest resources in gender equality. These measures include debt relief and progressive taxation, and ensuring that public resources are allocated to address the needs and rights of women and girls.

The Agreed Conclusions also recommend mobilizing financial resources from public and private sources, strengthening the international financial architecture, ensuring a gender lens in national budgeting processes, and preventing regressive taxation that disproportionately impacts women and girls with low or no income.

The outcome document also notes that official development assistance must be increased to address women’s and girls’ poverty. The share of total aid with gender equality as a policy objective decreased for the first time in a decade from 45 in 2019 to 43 per cent in 2020, per the latest data of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

The Commission also called for the implementation of gender-responsive economic and social policies, including increased women’s representation, leadership and participation in economic institutions, enforcing core labour standards to ensure equal pay for work of equal value, and implementing policies to support women-owned businesses.

Engaging and financing women’s organizations is another key recommendation. Robust, flexible and multi-year financing for locally led feminist movements and women’s rights organizations is critical to address poverty, as proven by existing mechanisms such as the  UN Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women  and the  Women’s Peace and Humanitarian Fund .

The Agreed Conclusions also call to strengthen national capacities to collect and use disaggregated data on multidimensional poverty, and to adopt new development strategies towards sustainable economies. These include strengthening inclusive and gender-responsive social protection systems and scaling up investment in the care economy to reduce women’s time and income poverty and expand their employment opportunities.