Battle of terms at the UN on gender issues

Battle of terms at the UN on gender issues
Battle of terms at the UN on gender issues

The UN It usually alerts about the growing attacks against the rights of women and LGBTIQ+ people in the worlda battle that is also faced in its meetings, where the use of certain terms does not always generate unanimity.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Turkhas long warned of “systematic” efforts to strip women of their hard-earned rights.

In his speech before the UN Human Rights Council Last week, he highlighted extreme cases such as those in Afghanistan and Iran, but warned that The decline was taking place all over the world.


The UN Human Rights Council reported that the backsliding is occurring worldwide and not just in Muslim or Western countries.

The struggle of international forums to roll back gender rights

“No country is immune to the regression of women’s rights”Volker Türk warned, also denouncing “discrimination and exclusion based on sexual orientation and gender identity.”

own The UN has become a battlefield on this issue and diplomats warn of the growing initiatives to eliminate references to women’s rights, sexual orientation and gender identity in agency resolutions.

“We are witnessing a concerted effort to make push back on issues related to gender, sexual orientation and gender identity” in international forums, said a diplomat based in Geneva, on condition of anonymity.

Did the emergence of conservative and retrograde narratives increase?

Gurchaten Sandhu, program director of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA), warned of the “coordinated efforts” of various actors “to roll back equality”.

“There is great paranoia” around any gender-related terms used in UN texts, she said. In a report presented this week to the Human Rights Councilthe UN working group on discrimination against women and girls stressed the “escalating backlash against gender issues” and the clear “resurgence of a narrative conservative and retrograde in international forums.”

He representative of Russia, Ilia Barminreacted to the report on Thursday, regretting that the text included “controversial concepts” related to reproductive rights and sexual health.

“There is no such right in international law”he insisted, adding that Russia was also opposed to the inclusion of “new categories of human rights” in the report, such as “the right to bodily autonomy”.

Opposition to include terms about gender

The Human Rights Council is not the only one where the choice of words is debated. For the first time this year, the World Health Organization (WHO) was forced to vote on a resolution that could not be adopted by consensus, due to the opposition of certain countries to using the expression “gender responsive” (which favors gender equality).

Both diplomats and NGOs emphasize that the debate should not be reduced to an opposition between Muslim and Western countriessince several Latin American and Caribbean countries are ardent defenders of the rights of women and the LGBTIQ+ community.

Several countries africans They also strive to remove words related to gender law in texts. They do the same Russia and Chinaalthough some analysts suggest that they do it not so much out of conviction but to create alliances that allow them to oppose Western powers.

Pope Francisco

Pope Francis declared on March 1 that gender ideology

Pope Francis declared on March 1 that gender ideology “is the worst danger.”


The Vatican’s rejection of the LGBTIQ+ movement

Others emphasize the role of the Vatican. “The first reference to ‘gender ideology’ as a dangerous and subversive phenomenon that had to be stopped came from the Vatican”said Erin Kilbride, a researcher at the NGO Human Rights Watch.

He Pope Francisco referred in March to the “gender ideology” As the “worst danger of our time”. The pressure of “anti-rights groups” It is also increasing at the UN, the diplomat assured.

These groups, which are usually financed by Gulf States, Russia and American religious movementshave become increasingly “noisy and coordinated,” he added. A Western diplomat, who also asked to remain anonymous, denounced a “very strong offensive.” There is a group of countries, he stressed, that is determined to reduce “a whole series of social rights won in the last 30 years.”

Source: Ambito

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