It is such a great pleasure to see you all! Let me say: “Dear sisters and all protocol observed”.
To be frank: We had other plans for 2020. The anniversary of Resolution 1325 was meant to remind states of their responsibility; to live up to the commitments they gave 20 years ago!
Instead, the world is holding its breath over the pandemic.
It’s true: Women have been among and the most vulnerable of this crisis.
We have seen a steep rise in domestic violence worldwide! Sexual and reproductive health services are being cut. And many women’s organizations are suffering from a shift in donors priorities.
Especially in conflict areas, where economic resilience and social cohesion are weak the situation is particularly dire.
In Germany we see too: It’s the women, who are crucial to the system! It is women who really need the “mute button”, for the “virtual conferences”: because babies are crying or because the situation at home is challenging. It’s still women taking care!
But amid all these bleak news I find one thing remarkable: Everywhere in the world, women are among the first responders to this crisis.
They lead social responses. They protect their communities. And they engage in Covid-19 prevention and response.
I’m glad the UN Secretary-General has recognized the crucial role women are playing in the fight against Covid-19.
And I’m also glad he has called for the effective implementation of the WPS agenda. Visibility is so important!
The German government signs up to this call. Corona is no reason to shift our priorities. On the contrary: It is a reason to put even more effort in reinforcing the WPS agenda.
We have therefore decided to support the Covid-19 Emergency Response Window of the Women’s Peace and Humanitarian Fund with 2.7 Mio. USD.
We will step up our general humanitarian funding by another 300 Mio. EUR.
And we will continue to counter every effort of watering down the language and substance of Resolution 1325.
We all know that there are strong calls for a pushback of women’s rights. But what makes me confident, is our strong network.
AWLN is a crucial part of it.
Thank you once again for all your commitment. I am here listening and learning how we can best support your fabulous work. The good thing is: There’s no “mute button” on women – we will speak up – because it’s our right to shape the post-pandemic world on gender rights – including strong women!