On the occasion of the International Women’s day celebrated on the 8th of March, the Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue delivered an oral statement during the 43rd session of the UN Human Rights Council.

In its statement, the Geneva Centre summarized the recent findings on women and girls’ rights presented during this Council’s session by a number of special mandate holders, including the Special Rapporteurs on sale and sexual exploitation of children, on environment, on the right to food, on human rights defenders, on the right to privacy, on freedom of religion, on persons with albinism, and on adequate housing.

“Madam President,

The Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue closely followed the presentation of the thematic reports this week. Violations of women and girls’ rights were repeatedly mentioned by all special rapporteurs:

Approximately one in five young women in the world today was married as a child[1].

Girls are more likely to miss school because of climate change stresses[2].

Women are instrumental in securing food for others but have precarious food security for themselves[3].

Women defenders face direct threats to their physical integrity and psychological well-being[4].

Women and girls also face particular risk of cyber violence[5].

Precepts of a number of religions underlie practices that constitute violations of women’s rights[6].

Women and girls with albinism particularly often face intersecting forms of discrimination[7].

Many women and girls live in insecure and undignified conditions, at increased risk of homelessness and violence[8].

Madam President,

As we celebrate the International Women’s Day this week, and the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration this year, the time has come to definitively end the silent, but persistent injustice and discrimination that women have been subjected to for years.

At the Geneva Centre, we will keep our gear high in acting for real equality, and we call for everyone in this Room to do the same.

Thank you, Madam President”

[1] Report of the SR on Sale and sexual exploitation of children, Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, 2020. A/HRC/43/40

[2] Report of the SR on Environment, David Boyd, 2019. A/HRC/43/53    

[3] Report of the SR on Right to Food, Hilal Elver, 2020. A/HRC/43/44

[4] Report of the SR on Human Rights Defenders, Michel Forst, 2019. A/HRC/43/51

[5] Report of the SR on Right to Privacy, Joseph Cannataci, 2020. A/HRC/43/52

[6] Report of the SR on Freedom of Religion, Ahmed Shaheed, 2020. A/HRC/43/48             

[7] Report of the IE on Persons With Albinism, Ikponwosa Ero, 2019. A/HRC/43/42             

[8] Report of the SR on Adequate Housing, Leilani Farha, 2019. A/HRC/43/43       

To make its statement accessible to a broader public, the Geneva Centre’s team has translated the original text from English into French, Arabic, Spanish and Russian:


Arabic version

French version

Spanish version

Russian version