UNITED NATIONS HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL - 50TH SESSION

Item 3 - Interactive dialogue with the Working Group on Discrimination Against Women and Girls

Statement on the Report on girls' and young women’s activism  by the Kingdom of the Netherlands

Mr President,

The Kingdom of the Netherlands commends the Working Group for their informative report. The report is a reminder to states that the persistence of conservative narratives and discriminatory stereotypes harm the full enjoyment of human rights by all women and girls. It silences their voices and limits their possibilities to participate equally, fully, effectively and meaningful in all spheres of life.

We applaud all women and girls who find ways to participate, set examples for others, and push for gender equal societies despite the barriers they often face. However, we remain deeply concerned about the additional challenges that girls and young women face when it comes to speaking their minds and engaging in economic, political and public affairs, especially when it comes to their sexual and reproductive health and rights

Women and girls, including women and girl activists and human rights defenders, have a voice, but due to a variety of discriminatory barriers and different forms of violence they are directly or indirectly prevented from speaking up. We call upon all states to provide them a microphone, to remove barriers and to actively stimulate women and girls in all their diversity to participate in all spheres of life.
 
The report mentions the failure of States and other stakeholders to eliminate discrimination within families, and that this undermines any attempt to ensure gender equality in all areas of society. Can the Working Group indicate concrete steps that States can take to accelerate efforts to eliminate discrimination within families and can you share best practices in this regard?

I thank you