Kamala Harris made various historic firsts on Tuesday, turning into the primary feminine vice chairman to ship an deal with through the United Nations’ sixty fifth periods of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).
The speech additionally marked the primary time a Biden administration official has spoken in entrance of the United Nations; Harris additionally turned the highest-ranking official in U.S. historical past to talk throughout CSW.
UN Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield additionally delivered remarks throughout Tuesday’s occasion, making it the primary time the United States’ delegation to the fee was co-led by two ladies of colour.
The mission of the 2021 CSW is to push for the “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,” per its website.
During her speech, Harris cheered the successes of ladies each within the United States and across the globe, saying the Biden-Harris administration is dedicated to serving to “empower women worldwide.” Harris pointed to President Joe Biden’s latest nomination of two high feminine generals to helm combatant command posts as proof of this empowerment in motion.
“Just last week, the President nominated two women to take the helm of two of our 11 combatant commands,” Harris stated. “Women in the United States lead our local, state, and national governments, make major decisions regarding our nation’s security, and drive major growth in our economy.”
On March 8 — International Women’s Day — President Biden General nominated Jacqueline Van Ovost to be Commander of the United States Transportation Command, and Lieutenant General Laura Richardson to be Commander of the United States Southern Command. Should they be confirmed by the Senate, Van Ovost and Richardson would grow to be the second and third ladies in U.S. historical past to guide a Combatant Command.
While saying that she is “inspired by the progress that is being made” for girls’s equality around the globe, Harris additionally careworn that leaders “cannot take this progress for granted.”
Harris touched on the elevated pressure the coronavirus pandemic has positioned on ladies, saying the virus has “threatened the economic security, the physical security, and the health of women everywhere.”
“As women struggle to get the healthcare they need, the pandemic appears to be reversing the global gains we’ve made in the fights against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, malnutrition, and maternal and child mortality,” Harris stated. “That’s why, on the first day of our Administration, the United States re-engaged as a member state and leader in the World Health Organization.”
There is an abundance of proof that girls throughout the United States — notably ladies of colour — face disproportionate challenges within the financial system, a disparity which has solely been deepened by the continuing coronavirus pandemic.
A recent study by consulting agency McKinsey & Company suggests that girls account for practically 56% of workforce exits for the reason that begin of the pandemic, regardless of solely making up roughly 48% of the general workforce. A separate study performed by Pew Research between February and August of final 12 months discovered that moms of youngsters 12 years previous and youthful have been 3 times as more likely to lose work than fathers of youngsters the identical age.
The pandemic additionally has a disproportionate influence on ladies throughout the globe. A coverage transient from the United Nations in mid-2020 found that “across every sphere, from health to the economy, security to social protection, the impacts of COVID-19 are exacerbated for women and girls simply by virtue of their sex.”
In addition to re-engaging with the World Health Organization, the Biden administration can also be rejoining the UN Human Rights Council in an effort to additional assist worldwide equality efforts. In mid-2018, then President Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out of the council over its extreme concentrate on Israel.
“We are also rejoining the Human Rights Council,” Harris stated Tuesday. “Because we know the status of democracy depends on our collective commitment to those values articulated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”
Invoking the late former first girl Eleanor Roosevelt, Harris stated the administration’s resolution to rejoin the separate entities underscores the concept that “the status of women is the status of democracy.”
“For our part, the United States will work to improve both,” Harris concluded. “We are committed to upholding the democratic values embedded in the Declaration. And we firmly believe that, when we work together globally, we can achieve the vision within it.”