Nordic ministers stand up for freedom of expression and sexual rights for women

09.03.16 | News
CSW event 2014
UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras
The six Nordic ministers responsible for gender equality will travel to New York next week to take part in the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). The ministers will speak with one voice on the need for better sexual and reproductive rights for women the world over.

The UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), the biggest international body in the world dedicated to greater gender equality, opens its annual session on Monday 14 March.

Thousands of delegates attend every year, and the Nordic government teams are accompanied by experts and representatives of voluntary organisations.  

Expert Panel on sexism and hate speech online

This year, the ministers for gender equality will enter into the international debate on sexist online abuse. A panel of Nordic experts will accompany them to CSW. It consists of the activist Emma Holten, researcher Anine Kierulf, writer Thordis Elva, project manager Johnny Lindqvist and Nasima Razmyar MP.

 “Women’s liberation will never be a reality unless we guarantee the right to express yourself without fear of harassment and persecution. No liberation without freedom of expression! The digital sphere is an enormous barrier to this – for women as well as minorities,” Emma Holten explains.

Nordic Region showing the way

The main theme of the CSW this year is its contribution to achieving the 17 goals for sustainable development agreed upon in 2015 by the nations of the world.

  • 17 Goals to Transform Our World (UN)

All of the Nordic countries will be pushing hard to have women’s sexual and reproductive rights included in the final document at the end of the CSW. 

“Women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights are basic prerequisites for gender equality and for empowering women and girls,” says Åsa Regnér, the Swedish Minister for Gender Equality. 

Gender equality and the sustainable development goals

The Nordic ministers advocate gender equality as a catalyst towards reaching the UN’s sustainable development goals. In particular, they will address the importance of gender equality for achieving the goals of “quality education”, “good health and well-being”, “reduced inequalities” and “decent work and economic growth”.

The Finnish minister, Juha Rehula, will speak about Nordic experiences of striving towards a decent working life for all.

 “Equal access to decent jobs and equal pay for equal work, are cornerstones of a sustainable future. The ability of both parents to combine work and family life is an important factor in getting women into jobs. It’s an issue on which the Nordic Region speaks with one voice,” he says.   

The Nordic CSW events start on Wednesday 16 March, when the Nordic ministers will take part in a panel debate at the UN headquarters from 11:30 until 12:45 local time (starts 17:30 Swedish time) 

The event will be shown on UN WEB TV:

On Friday 18 March, the Nordic expert panel will appear under the heading Fighting Sexism and Hate Speech Online – a Nordic panel of experts from 11:30 until 12:45 local time (starts at 17:30 Swedish time)

This debate will be streamed live and archived on UN WEB TV.


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