HRC 50 – EU Intervention, Annual full-day Discussion on the Human Rights of Women – Panel 1: Exploring the Nexus between Climate Change and Violence Against Women and Girls through a Human Rights Lens

(Source: EEAS)

Mister President,

Climate change carries direct and indirect implications for the human rights and wellbeing of all women and girls of current and future generations. The EU reiterates its full commitment to international conventions and frameworks that govern human rights and climate change, including the Paris Agreement.

We know that climate policy will only succeed if it fully integrates gender equality in all its solutions. We thus welcome the agreed conclusions adopted by the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), which tackled for the first time gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls in the context of climate change, environmental and disaster risk reduction policies and programmes. As these duly note, the adverse impacts of climate change and environmental challenges increase and exacerbate the risk of all forms of violence, including sexual and gender-based violence.

The EU’s response to climate change and to conserve and safeguard the environment for future generations is the European Green Deal. It is a transformative vision extending from the way we produce to the way we consume and it sets out a roadmap for a climate neutral continent by 2050. We want to lead the world towards a global green and just transition, not just by words, but by example. This includes making sure that our policies and actions are inclusive and human rights-based.


The EU underscores that exclusion of women and girls from climate action inhibits its effectiveness and further exacerbates climate harms as well as gender inequalities. The EU and its Member States hence support gender-responsive approaches in climate action, programming and finance through bilateral partnerships and multilateral platforms (like the NDC Partnership or the InsuResilience Initiative). We are committed to ensuring the full, equal, effective, meaningful and informed participation of all women and girls indiverse situations and conditions in all climate action. We furthermore stand ready to togheter with our partners  support the identification, and elimination of all forms of violence as well as multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination against all women and girls, whether grounded in or exacerbated further by geography, poverty, age, disability, indigenous or minority status, sexual orientation and gender identity, socio-economic or health condition, or any otherfactors. This is fundamental with view of erradicating sexual and gender based violence both online and offline and effectively addressing and preventing the negative gender-differentiated impacts with respect to climate change, inter alia, regarding food security, safe water and sanitation and opportunities for livelihood.

The EU deplores the detrimental effects of violence and climate change on the health of women and girls and we underscores our commitment to invest in health systems and strenghten the access to safe, available, affordable, accessible, quality, inclusive and gender-responsive care and social and health services, including those related to mental health and maternal health, giving special attention to sexual and reproductive health and rights, as per the new European Consensus on Development.In this context we underscore that The EU remains committed to the promotion, protection and fulfilment of all human rights and to the full and effective implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action and the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) and the outcomes of their review conferences and remains committed to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), in this context. Having that in mind, the EU reaffirms its commitment to the promotion, protection and fulfilment of the right of every individual to have full control over, and decide freely and responsibly on matters related to their sexuality and sexual and reproductive health, free from discrimination, coercion and violence. The EU further stresses the need for universal access to quality and affordable comprehensive sexual and reproductive health information, education, including comprehensive sexuality education and health-care services.

Distinguished panellists,

How can we more strategically tackle all forms of sexual and gender- based violence in the context of climate change and ensure that all climate action incorporates an intersectional perspective?

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