50th session of the Human Rights Council
Item 3: Interactive Dialogue with the Working Group on discrimination against women and girls
16 June 2022
Action Canada for Population and Development
Thank you, President.
Action Canada makes this statement in collaboration with Action Canada’s National Youth Advisory Board and the Sexual Rights Initiative.
We welcome the Working Group’s report on girls’ and young women’s activism and recognition that the UN is still elitist and unapproachable for many young activists, especially in the Global South. We encourage the UN to mainstream gender- and youth-sensitive approaches throughout their work.
As highlighted in our submission, young queer girls and women are alienated from many advocacy discussions due to intersecting forms of discrimination. We recommend prioritizing activists from marginalized communities by giving them profound access and meaningful representation in the decision-making of governments, the UN, and other bodies of power.
Furthermore, States must expand support for the involvement of girls and women in sexual and reproductive health and rights. Privileged men in political systems still have outsized input on the bodily rights of others. The rise in abortion bans signals that States must make girls and women key decision-makers when deciding on bodily rights in the legislative system.
Finally, we challenge governments to put girls and women at the forefront of decision-making processes. We have witnessed how much weight corporations have in deciding our rights. However, States’ duties are to us, not corporations. Thus, States must increase the representation of girls and women in all decision-making processes.