UN Human Rights Council 43rd Session February 2020

 

As a participant of all four  UN World Conferences for Women, in Mexico City 1975, Copenhagen 1980, Nairobi 1985 and Beijing 1995, I have been privileged to follow the progress in solving the plight of women. Each Conference gave us incentives for further action. Women have been more accepted as integral to the sustainable development goals.

 

The Beijing Declaration and the Platform for Action adopted in 1995 set strategic objectives and actions for the advancement of women and the achievement of gender equality in  several critical areas of concern. If only meagre progress,  at least awareness has been achieved concerning many of the objectives (now SDGs). Gender-based violence, women’s economic empowerment and gender equality have become priority issues as well as the violation of women’s human rights under the name of cultural tradition. Without Gender Equality (Number 5 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals) none of the SDGs will be achieved.

 

One of the areas, which has regressed, are the media with the enhanced power to present, create and manipulate through the new technology. The no limits-principle has also meant erasing  the rules of good conduct in the media. My organisation the International Council of Jewish Women is highly aware of this.

 

With the decline of journalism to be replaced by pseudo-individualism,  conservative and set images of women are reappearing more frequently and the change from object to subject has  not fully materialised. The new technology is as a rule created and managed by men.

 

The regression  in the media constitutes a real and concrete danger to the development of women towards full equality. Global and regional institutions seem unable to set standards against this negative development. This area of concern as well as the other SDGs all need an urgent call for action in the UN and its agencies, civil society and NGOs.

 

Thank you for your attention.

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