This oral statement was broadcasted at the 53rd Session of the Human Rights Council Interactive Dialogue with the Working Group on Discrimination Against Women and Girls. Watch a video of the statement here.
We welcome the report of the working group on discrimination against women and girls with focus on gendered inequalities of poverty.
Women represent two thirds of the poor in Asia and the Pacific region. Tackling poverty requires an understanding of its multiple dimensions as those who are poor, are also those who have been marginalised from the social, economic, and political development processes.
While feminisation of poverty is the reality in the region, further intersectional exclusions based on age, sexual orientation, disability, caste/class, and religion, can lead to powerlessness, poor status in society, and lack of agency.
These exclusions of all forms are the root cause and addressing structural, systemic and intersecting forms of discrimination can potentially offset poverty amongst women and girls in all their diversity.
The impact of the globalisation and macroeconomic prescriptions of structural adjustments and austerity measures in the health sector is felt most by the poor.
There is much evidence about the lack of access to modern contraception among poor rural women and they tend to experience unwanted and multiple pregnancies, unsafe abortions, leading to deaths or life-time disabilities.
We urge governments to guarantee universal health coverage that includes access to range of sexual and reproductive health information and services for all women and girls in all their diversity and this will be key to offset poverty in the region and achieve the SDGs.