Multi-stakeholder dialogue organized by UN Women, Germany and Costa Rica on the occasion of International Women’s Day 9 March 2022
Kommenttipuheenvuoro Terhi Heinilä, National Council of Women of Finland
The National Council of Women of Finland, the role of women’s organisations
Thank you for this opportunity to participate this dialogue, I am honoured to be able to offer perspectives as the largest coalition of women’s organisations in the Nordic countries.
We condemn the Russia’s the illegal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. And we are truly concerned about the situation of women Afghanistan and other countries, where the lives of women human rights defenders are in daily danger.
The National Council of Women of Finland is an umbrella organization and co-operation forum for Finnish women’s organizations that promote gender equality. We are founded in 1911 and have 72 member organizations with over 400,000 members. We advocate women’s rights, gender equality, and women and girls’ human rights.
Last year we celebrated the 110-anniversary and pointed out that women’s organizations generate and represent resilience and we play an invaluable role in maintaining democracy and social peace. The role of civil society is indispensable in the fight against climate change, as demonstrated by the initiators of the resolution Levy Muwana (a Youth Advocate and environmentalist from Zambia,) along with 100.000 children and allies.
Women’s and girls’ participation in decision-making, intersectionality
Women’s and girls’ participation in decision-making must be ensured and safeguarded at all levels. Women are not only victims but also leaders and agents of change. Adolescent women often lead climate action in their communities and need to be involved in climate decisions. Women in all their diversity must be fully taken into account, as climate change will affect different women in different ways. Particular attention should be paid to women with disabilities and women environmental human rights defenders.
Gender-transformative, SRHR, violence
Policies and processes must be gender transformative. We emphasise sexual and reproductive health rights in climate change and environmental catastrophes and the elimination of violence against women, including online contexts. Climate impacts are putting girls at risk of human rights abuses including human trafficking, sexual violence in temporary shelters and disruptions in their access to important health services.
The Feminist Foreign Policy could be one of those tools which can promote both policies and actions in clean, healthy and sustainable environment.
(Together with the International Council on Human Rights in Finland, we have compiled recommendations on how Finland could engage in Feminist Foreign Policy. The recommendations are intended to serve as a tool for translating commitments to human rights and gender equality into foreign policy work and objectives. We promote the recommendations and hope that our foreign policy is fully feminist in the future.)
CSW 66, multilateralism
The theme in the CSW 66 on next week is Achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls in the context of climate change and environmental and disaster risk reduction policies and programmes.
We strongly support multilateralism and UN’s actions. We thank the Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations in Geneva and the Permanent Mission of Gabon for the opportunity to participate in the international women’s rights campaign Women4Multilateralism!
We want to congratulate you for the resolution 48/13! It strengthens the link between women’s rights and climate and helps put an end to narratives that women’s rights and a healthy environment are separate or something extra to be dealt with in a better time. They are intertwined and time is now, and we women’s organisations will do everything we can to help girls and women to realise the right to a healthy environment!