UN Human Rights Council 47: Interactive Dialogue with the Working Group on Discrimination Against Women and Girls

The UK's International Ambassador for Human Rights, Rita French, delivered this statement during the Interactive Dialogue with the Working Group on Discrimination Against Women and Girls.

The United Kingdom strongly welcomes the Working Group’s latest report, which is even more critical during the current crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated inequalities, deepened discrimination and has put the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and girls at risk.

Individual control over our own lives and bodies – especially for women and girls – is fundamental to gender equality and individual dignity, with significant impacts on health, education and economic opportunities.

The UK is dedicated to championing and protecting women and girls’ rights. Within this, we are firmly committed to defending and promoting comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and rights for all, and to reducing barriers faced by girls, adolescents, women and key populations when accessing life-saving information and services.

This is why during the pandemic we have scaled-up online sexual and reproductive health services, in addition to putting in place temporary approvals in Great Britain to enable eligible women and girls to take both pills for early medical abortion in their own homes.

We must all continue to strive for the full realization of sexual and reproductive health and rights, including evidence based comprehensive sexuality education. We would welcome advice from the Working Group on how Member States can best support their work to counter a global roll-back on women and girls’ rights.

Thank you.

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