Mothers' Union tell UN "for too long women have been judged by wealth" and change is needed

Mothers’ Union is calling on the United Nations and national governments worldwide to reimagine the current global economic system to ensure women have equal access and rights to economic resources . In a statement to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women [UNCSW], timed to coincide with International Human Rights Day on 10th December and marking the culmination of 16 Days of Activism to highlight gender-based violence [GBV], Mothers’ Union says that a radical change in approach is required if sustainable progress is to be made.  

Bev Jullien, CEO of Mothers’ Union, which represents 4 million members in 83 countries worldwide, said; “Too often women have been valued according to the economic wealth they can generate rather than their intrinsic value. We must reimagine the current global economic system to ensure that no one – especially women - is left behind.”

A delegation of Mothers’ Union representatives from across the world, will travel to the UN’s global forum on gender equality in New York next March to lobby on women’s economic empowerment. They will call for governments to prohibit any form of discrimination against women and enshrine in law equal rights in the workplace, including the right to employment, equal pay and freedom from discrimination which prevents the appointment of women to senior positions.

Mothers’ Union will also call on governments to recognise, under law, that financial control is a form of abuse, and for increased training and sensitisation around this issue. The charity is also calling for efforts to be made to improve understanding of the impact of gender-based violence on women’s economic empowerment and a commitment to ensure that women are included in peace and reconciliation initiatives.

Mothers’ Union will also take time to stress that wealth does not protect against gender-based violence. Bev Jullien said, “Despite some progress, economic empowerment is not simply wealth accumulation – rather economic empowerment is the freedom, choice and ability to obtain and control economic resources.”

Speaking of her experiences at the grassroots, a Mothers’ Union Community Development Coordinator in Madagascar, highlighted that despite the key role that faith, civil and community leaders have in addressing these issues, governments need to do more to enforce change. “Women sometimes lack self-esteem, or have been educated to obey men. Sometimes there is no follow up or monitoring of the law implementation. Awareness raising with women about their rights is not enough: more advocacy and sensitisation is required.”

Throughout 16 Days of Activism, a major Mothers’ Union campaign has been under way to shine the light on gender-based violence with the clear message that ‘It’s Not OK’ [#itsnotok]. The campaign highlights the many forms that GBV takes, from controlling behaviour by a partner to rape as a weapon of war.

Globally, the campaign is calling on governments and leaders to ensure that national, local and customary laws prohibit all forms of violence against women. The campaign also calls for survivors to have access to justice and support services, and that perpetrators are prosecuted and rehabilitated.

More information can be found HERE