United Nations Security Council: Arria-formula Meeting on Enhancing the Capacities of Member States to Ensure a Gender Responsive Approach to Counter-Terrorism

Ministry Statements & Speeches:

CANZ Statement delivered by Permanent Representative of New Zealand, H.E. Ms. Carolyn Schwalger

I speak on behalf of Canada, Australia and my own country, New Zealand.

We welcome the opportunity to discuss ways to enhance a gender-responsive approach to preventing and countering terrorism, and violent extremism.

Collectively, we have made substantive progress towards gender equality, but there is still a long way to go - particularly in our efforts to counter and prevent terrorism and violent extremism. It is critical we prioritise gender equality and the full, equal, and meaningful participation of our communities in this work. We know that without including women and girls in all their diversity in our efforts, whether at the national, regional, or international level, we will ultimately fail to achieve safety, social cohesion, and peace for our communities.

Women experience sexual and gender-based violence and discrimination in many facets of their lives online and offline, including day-to-day harassment, and intimate partner violence.

When we talk about being gender responsive, we need to address these differential impacts of terrorism and violent extremism on women and girls is key, as well as recognize the need to also talk about men, gender stereotypes, and masculinities. As we heard from experts during CT week and in debates around the 8th Review of Global Counter Terrorism Strategy, terrorist groups exploit gender stereotypes and masculinities, femininities, and gendered inequalities to their own ends.

For example, misogyny underpins many white supremacist, faith-motivated and politically motivated ideologies, which often include strictly defined gender rules, and fear and hatred of LGBTQIA+ peoples.

The inclusion of women and men, girls and boys and gender diverse people in developing gender-based approaches to counter terrorism is key to preventing and mitigating the impacts of these acts. We must ensure that the involvement of women and girls are central to these efforts, as outlined in UN Security Council resolution 1325 and the broader Women, Peace and Security agenda. Close cooperation amongst governments, private sector, and civil society, including in our work here at the UN, will be critical to achieving further progress in enhancing the capacities of all member states to ensure a gender-based approach in responding effectively to threats.

Together, we are committed to building counter-terrorism and countering violent extremism work programmes that are gender-responsive and respect and protect all human rights.

Thank you.


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