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Minister's national speech in the general debate on the CSW68
Photo: © MZV ČR / MFA CZ
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Minister's national speech in the general debate on the CSW68


Minister's national speech in the general debate on the CSW68 Accelerating the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls by addressing poverty and strengthening institutions and financing with a gender perspective”

Mr Chairperson, Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates,

We should all be outraged.

Women and girls around the world face excessive levels of poverty and economic insecurities. Deep-rooted stereotypes, negative social and cultural norms lead to persistent inequalities in opportunities, unequal access to education, health care and financial resources.

Women and girls living in poverty are increasingly facing multiple forms of discrimination and gender-based violence.

The Secretary-General rightly says in his latest report that “poverty is a consequence of systemic failures that lead to exclusion and discrimination”. 

Czechia has made good progress, such as reducing our gender pay gap by 6.1 per cent since 2017 and having 60% of university graduates be women.

Still, poverty remains a barrier to gender equality. Certain groups of women, such as single mothers, elderly women, women with disabilities, minorities and migrants, are particularly vulnerable to economic insecurity.

To speed up gender equality and empowerment of all women we need accountable institutions that adopt a gender-transformative approach when designing relevant policies and programmes. 

The Czech government has established a strong policy basis. It consists of the Gender Equality Strategy 2030, covering all relevant areas, including economic empowerment, education and political participation. 

It also introduces several measures aimed at reducing women´s poverty. A complementary Action Plan aims at closing the gender pay gap. Additional measures take into account the burden that women face as primary caregivers. Moreover, we have developed targeted strategies for the integration and social inclusion of the Roma minority.

As a result of Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine, Czechia has welcomed the largest number of refugees per capita, mostly Ukrainian women and children. As they are also at risk of poverty, we actively and constantly review their situation and provide them with necessary assistance. 

Mr Chair,

To genuinely fight gender-based poverty, we need to fix the root problems. The full empowerment of women and girls can only be achieved by systematically protecting and promoting the full range of their human rights, eliminating all forms of discrimination and reducing inequalities. 

We need to get men and boys involved in fight against gender stereotypesand promoting fairness. In addition, effective social welfare systems are keyto provide a safety net for the most vulnerable and to ensure that everyone receives support during times of need.

Adequate funding and gender-responsive public spending are essential. We encourage increased domestic and international investments that prioritise women’s needs and economic opportunities. We welcomeinitiatives like the UN Women's Fund for Gender Equality. 

Our poverty reduction efforts must leverage the diverse strengths of different stakeholders. The role of civil society, including human rights defenders, is crucial. They are often at the forefront and work tirelessly to address the challenges faced by women and girls. However, engaging the private sector is also an important part of increasing women's empowerment. 


Mr Chair,

As a member of the Commission on the Status of Women, Czechia is committed to serving as an active and constructive partner in supporting the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. We are fully devoted to strengthening institutions by integrating gender equality into both domestic and international policies. 

We aim to become a role model of gender equality in our region of Central and Eastern Europe. We still have some work to do to achieve this, but we will not stop until we do.

By working together, we can strive towards a future where every woman and girl – regardless of their circumstances – has the chance to live a dignified and fulfilling life. 

Thank you.