As delivered by Michael G. Dozler
32nd Session of the UN Human Rights Council
June 16, 2016
The United States is an active proponent of SDG 5 – achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls.
Addressing the gender equality goal is integral to implementing all 17 goals, and is therefore core to the success of the SDGs as a whole. Achieving gender equality requires holistic and comprehensive policy and programing solutions to address gender-based violence, health, including sexual and reproductive health and rights, education, and harmful practices, all of which not only affect women and girls, but also limit their communities’ and countries’ ability to achieve their full potential.
As President Obama stated in August 2015, “Treating women as second-class citizens is a bad tradition: it holds you back. There’s no excuse for sexual assault or domestic violence, there’s no reason that young girls should suffer genital mutilation, there’s no place in a civilized society for the early or forced marriage of children.”
Leading up to the adoption of Goal 5, the United States worked to ensure that the key targets included fundamental elements of gender equality, including the elimination of harmful practices, such as female genital mutilation and cutting (FGM/C) and child, early, and forced marriage.
The international community is currently facing an unprecedented number of humanitarian crises across the globe. How are these crises affecting our ability to focus on gender equality as an SDG goal and cross-cutting issue, and how is the international community adjusting its efforts to promote gender equality in the midst of these crises?