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Item 3: Annual Discussion on Integration of a Gender Perspective
September 12, 2013

Item 3:   Annual Discussion on Integration of a Gender Perspective

Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America

Human Rights Council 24th Session
September 12, 2013

As delivered

Thank you, Mr. President.

The United States recognizes the importance of integrating a gender perspective into the development of successful policies and programs, both within and across nations and multilateral bodies.  No country can advance if it leaves half of its people behind.  For that reason, the United States believes gender equality is crucial to achieving prosperity, stability, and peace, and considers investing in women and girls worldwide to be instrumental to advancing our foreign policy goals.

The United Nations has a vital role in protecting and promoting the human rights of women and girls.  Important progress in mainstreaming gender concerns is occurring across the UN system, and the Human Rights Council plays a key part in advancing the human rights aspects of that effort.

But this Council can and should do more to integrate gender perspectives throughout its work and its mechanisms.  The Council’s full-day discussion on women’s human rights each June, the related resolutions the Council adopts at that session, the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, and the Working Group on the elimination of discrimination against women are only starting points.  Civil society organizations can help the Council do more.

The Universal Periodic Review offers many possibilities for this Council and states to collaborate more deeply with civil society

In closing, we are pleased that, since the Beijing Fourth World Conference on Women more than 15 years ago, women have become better represented in peacekeeping troops, in parliaments and provincial councils, in board rooms, and at the helm of private industry.  But our work is not finished.  Discussions like this one, and the related work of the Human Rights Council, are important ways to identify how we can do better in the future.

  • We would like to hear Special Rapporteur Beyani’s views on how the Human Rights Council can better structure its work and how it incorporates input from civil society so the Council can better protect women and girls who are especially vulnerable because they are living in or fleeing from conflict zones.  Does the Special Rapporteur have ideas for how the Council can share the knowledge it gains through this process to inform the efforts of other relevant parts of the UN system?
  • More broadly, we would like to ask the panelists for their views on what additional steps the Council can take to make better use of civil society organizations’ views so we can promote women’s human rights and gender equality more effectively.