CSW: National Statement

Statement in connection with the 64th session of the Commission on the Status on Women by Minister of Culture and Equality Abid Q. Raja, 19 March 2020

25 years ago, 30 000 women and men created a small city in Beijing.

Together, the people of this small city crafted a declaration.

A platform for action that was both groundbreaking and visionary in its efforts to make a difference.

Together, they took a stand against discrimination.

A step for equal rights.

In Beijing, 30 000 women and men called for freedom, human rights and development – for all women and girls.

They created what we still regard as our gold standard for equality.

Now, 25 years later.

How far have we come?

What happened to our fight for liberation?

What happened to our dream of equality?

Still women's and girls' sexual and reproductive health and rights are not realized in many parts of the world.

What happened to our gender equality gold standard when the lives of our mothers, sisters and daughters are politicized?

We see that decisions about her body,

Her life. Her future,

Are not considered individual human rights, but negotiable terms in political discussions.

What would the idealists from 95', the 30 000 women and men, say if we told them that youth friendly health services, birth control and safe and legal abortions are still not accessible for all?

Every day, women and adolescent girls die during pregnancy and child-birth.

If you are not securing every girl and woman's reproductive health and rights…

How can you claim that you care for families – and for women's dignity?

We all need to step up.  

We all need to pay special attention to girls.

Abid Raja
Norway's Minister of Culture and Equality Abid Q. Raja

Girls experience double discrimination related to their gender and to their age.

This is accentuated by poverty, indigenous status, sexual orientation and disability.

When a humanitarian crises emerge, girls' rights are particularly at risk.

Girls are victims of child marriage, female genital mutilation and the consequences of son preference.

We need to change. Now.

We need to change norms and stereotypes that hinder girls' development and active participation in our societies.

We need to put an end to harmful practices which have fatal consequences for girls, for families – and for the well-being of entire countries.

Empowerment of girls through quality education is key to paid work and economic independence for the individual and economic growth for states.

Gender equality is the best investment we make.

The time when our results will be measured up against our ambitions is coming.

2030 is not far ahead, and many of the pressing issues of Beijing are still to be resolved.

It is time for a new effort.

At this CSW we reconfirm the Beijing platform and promise a bigger leap for equal rights.

It is our common responsibility. I can assure you that Norway will deliver.

All the nations in this hall must ensure that we give our daughters equal prospects as our sons.