HRC 55: Joint Statement on International Women’s Day

Published on March 08, 2024

I deliver this statement on behalf of a group of CSOs.

International Women’s Day was started by revolutionary women like Clara Zetkin and Rosa Luxemburg, women who advocated for the right to be sovereign over their own bodies, women who responded to the political moment of their time by fighting for gender equality and a more just and equal world, centered around solidarity.

Over a hundred years later, feminist activists and women human rights defenders across the globe are also responding to the political moment of their time: we are organizing for the defense of our right to bodily autonomy and for sexual and reproductive rights, for social, economic and environmental justice, for a more inclusive world that does away with structural systems of oppression and discrimination and for an end to occupation, colonization and militarization.

Yet just like the women who initiated International Women’s Day, feminists and women human rights defenders are still facing retaliation and reprisals for the work that they do, are still being intimidated, defamed, arbitrarily arrested, and subjected to different forms of discrimination and violence. This is especially true for activists facing intersectional discrimination.

Our response to these coordinated attacks must be focused on building solidarity across movements and issues, and on strengthening transnational ties that enable us to amplify and elevate each other’s priorities and demands. This is why today we echo the global feminist call for the March 8th strike and stand in solidarity with Palestinian feminists and women in Gaza who are facing human rights violations of an unprecedented scale yet who are still building solidarity and paving the way for collective liberation. We also stand in solidarity with women in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, Iran, Afghanistan, and with every feminist activist fighting tirelessly for their rights, and the rights of others wherever they may be.

Thank you, Mr. President.