Australian Permanent Mission and Consulate-General
Switzerland, Liechtenstein


Human Rights Council - 27th Regular Session

Annual Discussion on the Integration of a Gender Perspective

Statement by Australia
15 September 2014

Let me begin by noting that New Zealand wishes to associate itself with this statement.

Australia and New Zealand welcome and strongly support today’s annual discussion on the integration of gender equality and empowerment of women and girls into the country-focused work of the Council.

Australia and New Zealand recognise that women and girls are disproportionately affected by serious human rights violations, in particular the use of sexual and gender-based violence as a weapon in conflict and post-conflict settings. Australia and New Zealand very much appreciate and strongly supports the important work done to date in the country-focused work of the Council to address violence against women and girls.

More broadly, respecting women’s and girls’ human rights is critical to achieving universal human rights and fundamental freedoms. However, all too often protecting and promoting women’s and girls’ rights is not seen as interlinked to and mutually reinforcing the achievement of this objective which should all share.

If we are to ensure respect for human rights, we must all be seized of the imperative to integrate fully gender perspectives through the entirety of the Council’s country-focussed work. Such perspectives must take into account the challenges and relative disadvantages particular to the circumstances of women and girls which they face in securing their fundamental human rights and freedoms. The emphasis of the Council’s work should be on how these challenges and disadvantages can be overcome.

Australia and New Zealand would be interested to hear the panel’s views on how the Council can best draw together and learn from the insights on gender issues being gathered by the thematic Special Procedure holders and then applied to country-specific situations.