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HRC44: Nordic-Baltic countries address the Working Group on Discrimination against Women and Girls

44th session of the Human Rights Council
Interactive Dialogue with the Working Group on discrimination against women and girls
6 July 2020
Statement by Nordic – Baltic countries
delivered by H.E. Ambassador Mr Jānis KĀRKLIŅŠ, Latvia

Madam President,
I have the honour of delivering this statement on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic countries Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden, and my own country Latvia.
We thank the Working Group for the unrelenting work and for the latest report.
All women and girls should be able to feel safe, secure and fearless throughout their lives. They must have equal rights and opportunities to freely make choices and decisions without limitations, including about their own bodies. To get there, we need men and boys to be engaged, to show solidarity and to participate in the process of change.
Regrettably, extensive discrimination against women and girls continues to exist. The COVID-19 crisis has exacerbated the consequences of the pandemic on women and girls, making it a crisis in its own right. The risk of sexual and gender-based violence has increased during lockdowns. The need to balance professional and personal life risks jeopardizing women’s economic independence, especially when taking into account women’s unpaid care and disproportionate domestic workloads.
We should continue to tackle socially constructed stereotypes, customs and norms that give rise to a variety of legal, economic and political constraints on the advancement of women’s full and equal participation in society. The intersection of different and multiple dimensions along gender further shapes the forms of discrimination that women face through their life. In addition, elimination of discrimination against women calls for changes in all policies to make them more gender responsive and gender transformative. It is imperative to take necessary legislative measures to ensure the full realisation of all women and girls’ rights, to adopt and implement national policies aimed at achieving gender equality, and to enforce relevant laws.
In the context of women’s rights in the workplace, would the Working Group have further recommendations on how to recast economic policies and frameworks, including national budgets and tax policies, to focus on human well-being, as mentioned in the report’s recommendations?
I thank you!



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