Annual Discussion, Integration of a Gender Perspective
Agenda Item 4
Theme: Overcoming Barriers to Freedom of Opinion and Expression
Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America
As Delivered by Catherine Peters
Human Rights Council – 51st Session
Thank you, Mr. President.
To further the political, economic, and civic contributions of women and girls in all their diversity, especially those from marginalized groups, it is critical to amplify their voices. The digital world is an important space for women to exercise freedom of expression, yet some state and non-state actors have appropriated digital technologies, including social media platforms, to intimidate and silence women politicians, activists, human rights defenders, journalists, and others and obstruct their participation in political, public, and private life. This is a global concern requiring international, multi-sectoral coordination and efforts.
The United States announced the Global Partnership for Action on Gender-Based Online Harassment and Abuse at the March 2022 Commission on the Status of Women. Global Partnership countries address technology-facilitated gender-based violence through three strategic objectives:
1. Develop international best practices and principles that define certain forms of gender-based online harassment and abuse either as a type of intersectional gender discrimination; as a threat to democratic values; or, where applicable, as a violation or abuse of human rights.
2. Focus resources on preventing and responding to gender-based online harassment and abuse, including programs that provide training and support to civil-society organizations, journalists, and politically active women.
3. Improve the regular collection of comparable data on gender-based online harassment and abuse and its effects by governments, international organizations, technology platforms, and non-governmental organizations. Global Partnership countries also will pilot and evaluate innovative, evidence-informed interventions.
To complement the Global Partnership, President Biden established the White House Task Force to Address Online Harassment and Abuse, which is developing policies and programs to address online attacks against women and LGBTQI+ individuals both in the United States and worldwide.
I thank you.