Madam Chair, fellow delegates,
The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) are important tools for improving gender equality and the situation for girls and women in particular. We have delivered our 7th report on Norway’s follow-up of the CEDAW convention and look forward to the examination.
I am proud to announce that Norway has appointed an Equal Pay Commission, which will submit its recommendations to the Government in March next year. One of its tasks is to investigate what can be done to narrow the gender based wage gap. I encourage all the member states to follow suit.
Norway gives high priority to dealing more effectively with violence against women and children. The international political community must join forces to openly discuss and highlight the fact that men in all countries use violence to control women and thus, abuse women’s human rights. Violence in the family is not a private matter, it is a political issue.
Children are seriously affected by being witnesses to domestic violence, and the perpetrators in most of these cases are men. The new Action Plan against violence in close relations, will also include nation-wide treatment programmes to help perpetrators master their aggression.
In Norway, forced marriage and female genital mutilation are forbidden by law, regardless of whether they take place in Norway or in other countries. However, this is an area of our national policy that needs stronger focus. The rights of women and girls to control their own body and sexuality, is a universal right, which can not be limited or excused by culture or religion.
Norway welcomes the Pinheiro report on violence against children, and we are pleased to see how well it has integrated the gender perspective.
Norway fully supports the report’s recommendations.
My last point Madam Chair, relates to UN reform. Norway warmly welcomes the report of the UN Reform Panel. We endorse the Panel’s recommendations for stronger gender architecture in the UN. We need a strong and independent entity for women, led by an under-secretary-general, and represented in all relevant UN decision making bodies. Moreover it must be adequately funded so that it is able to fulfil a strong operational mandate. Women and girls are demanding that the fine words spoken on the subject of gender equality are transformed into action. In this work, I will underline the necessity to form alliances with men and boys and fully support the statement on this matter from G77 and China.