Gender Equality, Women’s Rights and Human Rights at the Post-2015 agenda in New York

25 July, 2015


RHM endorsed a statement presented by the Intergovernmental Negotiations on the Post-2015 agenda in New York.

“I’d like to highlight the consistent support from governments, UN agencies, and CSO colleagues from around the world, who agree that gender equality, women’s rights and human rights are essential to achieve sustainable development, and as such, must be recognized as cross-cutting. We’re wearing purple today to highlight our concerns and invite you all to join our color campaign.

Throughout the draft and paragraph 19, the full range of issues that are vital to gender equality should be reflected. This includes but is not limited to women’s economic rights, women’s and girl’s participation at all levels, including in peace building, and the elimination of violence against all women and girls, including sexual and gender-based violence and harmful practices such as child, early and forced marriage and FGM. Moreover, sexual and reproductive health and rights are inseparable from the commitment to gender equality and elementary for the transformational change that this agenda sets out to achieve.

To reflect existing commitments at the UN and in line with a large number of contributions by member states yesterday and today, paragraph 15 should refer to the ICPD and the Fourth World Conference on Women, the outcomes of their review conferences and CEDAW, amongst others.

We agree with a number of members states that the draft has improved on human rights, for instance with paragraph 18. References to human rights need to be further strengthened throughout the text, by adding non-discrimination in para 7, human rights of all women and girls in para 19 and realizing human rights for all in para 45 of the Call to Action. Listings should include sexual orientation and gender identity. When national policies or culture are mentioned, the text needs to be balanced with ‘in conformity with international human rights’. Moreover, “cultural values” in para 8 should be replaced by “cultural diversity” as in para 31;

We support the EU and a large number of member states for the deletion of para 38. If it is retained, it should refer to the diverse forms in which families exist, and the human rights of individuals within families.

Finally, we reiterate the call by the Netherlands on Monday that the rights of adolescents and youth, their empowerment and their meaningful participation need to be better reflected throughout the declaration. Girls and adolescents should be added to the listing of people in vulnerable situations; paragraph 23 should expand on education on human rights, gender equality and comprehensive sexuality education; and paragraph 46 needs to refer to meaningful youth participation.”