Thank you, Mr. President.
We welcome this discussion by the Human Rights Council. Worldwide, we have been witnessing a rise in girl-led and youth-led activism that is challenging gender inequality, exclusion and injustice. Every day, courageous girls and young women come together to claim their right to be included in decision-making.
With the worldwide trend of shrinking civic space, it becomes much harder for girls and young women to express opinions, assemble and associate. In conflict and humanitarian contexts, girls and young women encounter additional security threats as they become easy targets of militarized and extremist groups.
Girls and young women face a number of specific barriers to enjoying their rights to freedom of opinion and expression, including:
For girls and young women facing multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination, such as indigenous girls, those identifying as LGBTQI+, girls with disabilities, sexually abused and exploited girls and victims of trafficking among others, these barriers are even more pronounced.
In order to address these challenges and ensure that all girls and young women can fully enjoy their rights to freedom of opinion and expression, we call on Member States to: