An official website of the United States government

The Human Rights of Women: Participation in Power and Decision-Making
June 19, 2015

HRC 29th Session: Annual full-day discussion on the human rights of women
Panel 2: Women’s human rights and participation in power and decision-making
As Prepared for Delivery
June 19, 2015

The United States welcomes this opportunity to discuss women’s human rights and access to power and decision-making.  We appreciate the panelists’ diversity of experience and thank them for their input and dedication to the empowerment of women and girls.

Enhancing women’s participation in power structures across economic, political, and social spheres, and from the local to international level, is critical to advancing human rights.  The United States fully supports the goal of empowering women, and is dedicated to transformative and impactful action to reach this goal. Here in Geneva, we have a Mission-wide initiative called the Future She Deserves.  It aims to leverage Geneva-based institutional mechanisms and multilateral fora to enhance opportunities to promote gender equality.

Another way the United States government has worked to increase women’s access to power is through the full use of technology.

The Innovations in Gender Equality to Promote Household Food Security Program, which the United States strongly supports, provides an example of how technology can be used to increase women and girls’ access to power and decision making. This initiative provides community-centered technology design training to farmers in the Southern Agricultural Corridor of Tanzania, many of whom are women.  The program decreases labor burden, allowing women more time to participation in other areas of life, and turns women’s empowerment into a community wide endeavor.

Here in Geneva, the United States Mission has brought human rights activists from around the world together this week through our Internet Freedom Fellows Program.  This year’s fellows are focusing on the use of technology and the internet to promote women’s human rights.

Technology, including not only emerging communications tools but also improvements to make basic appliances like cookstoves cleaner and more efficient, can be an important mechanism for empowering women and allowing them access to decision-making.  The full use of technology is one measure that can be taken to make women’s human rights more visible and enhance women’s participation in power and decision-making.  We would be interested in other inventive actions that can be taken to empower women.


How can states use existing, new, and developing technology to promote women’s participation and leadership within diverse decision making spaces?