Statement by Ms. Tekea Tesfamicael, President of the National Union of Eritrean Women
during the 65th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women
New York, 15 March 2021
(Delivered by Mrs. Zaid Mesfin, Director General of Administration and Finances of the NUEW)
On behalf of the Government of the State of Eritrea and the Eritrean women, I am honored to address the 65th session of the Commission on the Status of Women.
The UN Commission on the Status of Women is having its session under the clouds of the Covid-19 pandemic which has changed our way of living and communications in an unprecedented way. But our business of advancing women’s empowerment must go on, and in this regard, Eritrea welcomes the convening of the 65th session in a hybrid format.
The Priority Theme for this session ‘women’s full and effective participation and decision-making in public life, as well as the elimination of violence, for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls’- underscores the role women could play on policies, decisions, and programs contributing to the achievement of sustainable development and to addressing the many challenges women and girls face.
When every woman and every girl live in full equality, with dignity and respect, we can end poverty and hunger, improve health and human well-being, guarantee quality education, and achieve peace and prosperity for all. Eritrea recognizes that the full potential of women and girls is realized through their full participation in the developmental programs and one that allows them to have full control of their choices and their futures. Strengthening our societies in an inclusive manner, growing our economies, and combating all forms of discrimination are the priorities the government has set for itself. The Government of Eritrea and non-government sectors are engaged in the formulation and implementation of national policies and legal reforms that promote gender equality and empowerment of women. Actions are taken to enhance access to education and health and to combat violence against women as well as eliminate harmful and discriminatory practices.
Decades of border conflict, the imposition of unjustified UN sanctions accompanied by depopulation policy measures put in place by some quarters have left the Eritrean society vulnerable to illegal migration, human trafficking, and separation of families. These are no small challenges and their tolls on the people and the loss of opportunities for development cannot be underestimated. With the onset of coronavirus, the challenges are even more compounded to the extent that they hinder acceleration of the developmental programs in general and the advancement of women in particular. Eritrea’s quickstep of preventive measures and the establishment of a high-level task force has been very effective against the spread of the pandemic. Eritrea is harnessing its resources and building more resilient and inclusive strategies to mitigate the social, economic, health and security impacts of underlying conditions and that of the covid-19 pandemic. Eritrea believes with solidarity with one another and extraordinary efforts, we can recover and rebuild our societies. We welcome the developments of vaccines. It is paramount that access to safe, timely, and effective vaccines is guided by equity. No one is safe until we are all safe.
In conclusion, women in Eritrea, acknowledge the achievements of women around the world and renew our solidarity and commitment to the sustainable development goals we declared. Moreover, I appreciate member States and observer States in the preparation for the sixty-fifth session of the Commission on the Status of Women, even though the COVID-19 pandemic continues to make it difficult to have an in-person meeting.
I thank you.