GENDER EQUALITY AND SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH AND RIGHTS
Gender equality and women's empowerment represents one of the top priorities for anyone seeking to advance human rights overall and healthier societies. At the same time, commitments to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) are being eroded more and more. Basic life-saving measures have unfortunately become controversial and are often denied from those most in need. HRLO provides substantive inputs and supports diplomatic efforts to advance dialogue on these topics in all relevant forums.
In the last few years the inter-governmental agreements in the United Nations have experienced unprecedented setbacks. Those included failure to achieve consensus on some of the key outcomes of the Commission on the Status of Women and the Commission on Population and Development. A new low was reached when a resolution on the rights of the child was challenged, all because of a reference to sexual education. It is clear there is a need for a new approach. As conservative States group together on more topics there is a need for greater organization of efforts by likeminded delegations and the empowerment of moderates among the conservative groups. A State that normally supports sexuality education may reverse its position and support an amendment against it, if tabled by its group. In a relatively new practice, numerous amendments are being tabled just to enflame negotiations and heighten drama. HRLO supports a more informed and cool-headed approach to negotiations.
A project to advance those issues could include support for the Commission on the Status of Women and the Commission on Population and Development, as well as resolutions and plenary discussions focused on women and girls in the Third Committee and Human Rights Council. In addition to briefing notes and updates during negotiations, developed in consultation with the main sponsors of related draft resolutions, HRLO offers draft joint statements for delegations wishing to seize more opportunities to speak up jointly on those topics. HRLO also provides analysis to support preparation and organization of lobby efforts for the adoption of UN resolutions.