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.






National Council of Jewish Women of Canada (NCJWC) works to ensure the rights of women, children, and families, the disabled and new Canadians through advocacy, education and social action. In October 2017, we celebrated our 120th anniversary and received special recognition from the Government of Canada’s Historic Sites and Monuments Board for one of our first homes. We have Sections in Toronto, Winnipeg, Vancouver and Edmonton. Some of our programs include:

  • Working to educate people about Jewish Genetic Diseases that can now be identified by a blood test, thus allowing couples to make an informed decision before having a baby born with one of these diseases. On our website, people can pose questions on our Jewish Genetics Diseases Awareness tab to our own genetics expert at Ask a Geneticist.   Our genetic expert will privately answer their query or direct them to the proper professional in their community.

  • Working to help disadvantaged children: 
    - Books for Kids distributing books to daycares, preschools, new mothers and fathers;
    - Creating children’s libraries in women’s shelters;
    - Offering books to pediatrician offices;
    - Providing backpack programs to equip children with the necessities to begin a school year;
    - Operating a Dressup program with clothing for young students and clothing gift cards for teens

  • Educational and advocacy programs focusing on human trafficking both at home and abroad, with an additional focus on Canadian topics like immigration and anti-semitism.

  • Encouraging organ and tissue donation through our Gift of Life Organ and Tissue Donation Program.

  • Helping new immigrants adapt to life in Canada.

  • Passover Food Drives that purchases, packages and delivers over 2500 food boxes to needy people. 

  • A Cancer Support Group (L’chaim Cancer Support Group),a caring environment that educates and offers a social outlet for women touched by this disease

  • Israeli project: ALUMA - NCJWC is the only Canadian supporter of this project, offering counselling services to Israelis experiencing undue stress in their lives and who are unable to access professional services.