Annual Full-Day Discussion on the Human Rights of Women
Morning Panel: “Gender-Based Violence Against Women and Girls in Public and Political life”
Statement by Ambassador Michèle Taylor
53rd Session of the UN Human Rights Council
Thank you, Mr. President.
Women who participate in politics and public life, especially those who seek leadership positions, are often the targets of gender-based violence, including technology-facilitated gender-based violence. We must navigate patriarchal socio-cultural norms and structural barriers to exercise our human rights and fundamental freedoms.
The digital world holds immense potential to amplify the voices of women, girls, and gender non-conforming persons, but its misuse has given rise to new forms of gender-based violence.
Illiberal anti-democratic actors often target women in politics and public life with online harassment, abuse, and gendered misinformation. They seek to silence and exclude women’s voices, fundamentally undermining the strength of democracies.
Women in politics and journalism, women human rights defenders, and women civil society actors are disproportionately affected by this violence, particularly those who are already marginalized due to their disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity, race, ethnicity, or religion.
The United States is taking action to end gender-based violence at home and abroad through the new National Plan to End GBV and through the update to our U.S. Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender-Based Violence Globally.
We prioritize efforts to address the root causes of violence and abuse, to change social norms that perpetuate GBV, and to support survivors, so they have the resources they need to heal, recover, and rebuild their lives.
Promoting gender equality and the rights and safety of women and girls in all their diversity, including those active in politics and public life, is critical to women’s meaningful participation.
I thank you.