European Union External Action

HRC 47 - EU Intervention: Item 3: Interactive Dialogue with the Working Group on discrimination against women

Geneva, 25/06/2021 - 16:17, UNIQUE ID: 210625_44
Statements on behalf of the EU

Madam President,

The EU and its Member States would like to thank the Working Group for the presentation of their latest report entitled “Women’s and girls’ sexual and reproductive health rights in crisis”.

The EU remains concerned that situations of crisis disproportionately affect women’s and girls’ enjoyment of their human rights and hinder the promotion of gender equality. We have seen this also during the Covid-19 pandemic.

In the report you have presented practices and made valuable recommendations for securing that women and girls enjoy all rights at all times.  You have also suggested that a radical shift is required in how crises are managed and addressed from the perspective of women and girls in accordance with their human rights. As you are stating, whereas events of crisis can not be always prevented, States can be better prepared to face them. Fully implementing women’s and girls’ rights, as well as guaranteeing their agency, autonomy and right to information, significantly reduces their vulnerability when crises arise.

The EU remains strongly committed to the promotion, protection and fulfilment of all human rights and to the full and effective implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action and the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) and the outcomes of their review conferences and remains committed to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), in this context. Having that in mind, the EU reaffirms its commitment to the promotion, protection and fulfilment of the right of every individual to have full control over, and decide freely and responsibly on matters related to their sexuality and sexual and reproductive health, free from discrimination, coercion and violence. The EU further stresses the need for universal access to quality and affordable comprehensive sexual and reproductive health information, education, including comprehensive sexuality education, and health-care services.

The EU also remains a strong advocate for the elimination of all forms of discrimination against all women. Can the Working Group identify best practices for achieving an enabling environment that would contribute to this end, and guarantee the enjoyment of all human rights of all women and girls?

Thank you.

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