Norges hovedinnlegg på FNs kvinnekommisjon i New York

Av barne-, likestillings- og inkluderingsminister Solveig Horne

Innlegget ble holdt torsdag 12. mars 2015.

Thank you, Chair

War, conflict and violent extremism have devastating consequences for women and girls. Homes are ruined. Women and children are forced to flee. They are taken hostage, raped and killed.  

Women and girls all over the world suffer from widespread and serious human rights violations. They continue to be under-represented and discriminated against. 

It is therefore more important than ever to stand fully behind the principle of universal human rights. I call upon all member states to speak up for girls’ and women’s human rights every day. Women’s rights are Human Rights.

Neither religion - nor cultural traditions - should be used as excuses for denying girls and women their human rights.

Violence against women and girls is a global challenge. 35 per cent of women worldwide have been exposed to sexual violence. Many women experience violence in the very place where they should feel safe. In their own home.

To stop violence against women and girls means ending harmful traditional practices, such as female genital mutilation and early and forced marriage. These practices can be halted within the next generation if we give these issues the necessary priority.

Education is also important in this regard. Education is the key to achieving gender equality, sustainable development and ending poverty. More than 60 million girls around the world do not attend school. Girls with disabilities are especially at risk.

Every year 67 million girls are getting married before the age of 18. This leads to early pregnancies with a high risk of complications - and even to deaths. This is a breach of the rights of millions of girls.

Young people all over the world, including LGBT-persons and persons with disabilities, need comprehensive education to learn about their own sexuality.

This is a sensitive and controversial issue, but we cannot ignore the consequences of illegal and unsafe abortions on women’s health and lives.

I commend those countries and other state bodies, which have liberalized their legislation, in particular the African Union. The Union has shown great leadership in establishing a women’s rights instrument, which includes access to medical abortion.

I know that abortion is on the agenda in other countries. I wish you the best of luck and assure you of Norway’s strong support to universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights.
 
Excellences, distinguished delegates,
UN Women’s campaign ’He for She’ reminds us that men and boys play important roles in our effort for gender equality. If men and boys are not engaged, we will not reach our goal to ensure human rights for all.  

As we face the post 2015, Norway is committed to a new development framework with a strong focus on gender equality.

Two weeks ago I attended a high level conference in Chile where women’s economic participation was debated. It is well documented that women’s empowerment is closely linked to economic development and prosperity.

Education and better jobs for women lead to higher wages and better decision making. That is why my government has made girls’ education a top priority in our development cooperation.

The celebration of Beijing + 20 - and the marking of the 15th anniversary of Security Council resolution 1325 - give us an opportunity to renew our commitments towards gender equality.

I would like to end by echoing UN Women in setting 2030 as the expiration date for gender inequality. We need to achieve Planet 50:50 by 2030.

Thank you!