Speech from Eva Nordmark

Statement by Ms Eva Nordmark, Minister for Employment and Gender Equality, Commission on the Status of Women


Eva Nordmark. Minister for Employment and Gender Equality. Commission on the Status of Women. New York. 15 March 2022.

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Madame Chair,

Excellencies, delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen, dear brave Ukrainians in this room and elsewhere,

  • It is an honour for me to address the 66th session of the Commission on the Status of Women. Sweden aligns itself with the statement made by France on behalf of the EU, and its Member States.
  • Our thoughts today are with everyone living in conflict situations and other emergencies – Afghanistan, Yemen, Ethiopia – and not least in Ukraine.
  • The Russian invasion is unprovoked, illegal and indefensible.
  • The impact on the civilian population has been immense, and a huge number of people, not least women and children, have been forced to flee their homes.
  • We stand united in strong solidarity with the Ukrainian people. My government will continue to support Ukraine and hold Russia fully responsible for their aggression. We all have an obligation to strongly condemn this invasion.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

  • I am a proud member of the Swedish feminist government with a feminist foreign policy.
  • Women’s economic empowerment is key to achieve gender equality. We must close the gender gap in the labour market. When you make your own money, you can choose your own life.
  • To close the gender pay gap, we need political reforms like parental leave for both mothers and fathers, affordable child-care and individual taxation. Women and men must share the responsibility to provide for and to care for their families.

Ladies and gentlemen,

  • Human rights are universal and apply to all. Everyone must be able to fully enjoy their human rights. Regardless of sex, gender identity or expression, ethnicity, religion or other belief, disability, sexual orientation, age or other status. 
  • Our feminist Government is committed to ensure equal rights and the full and equal enjoyment of human rights of LGBTQI-persons.

Ladies and Gentlemen!

  • Its urgent to stop the fossil emissions and to accelerate a just climate transition. If we make it right, this can lead to new, better and green jobs for both women and men.  This is an opportunity we can’t miss!
  • That has become clear in the northern part of Sweden, where I was born and raised. New, green industries are producing batteries and the world’s first fossil-free steel, creating thousands of jobs.

Ladies and Gentlemen!

  • The COVID-19 pandemic has shown to affect everyone, everywhere.
  • Most critical, the COVID-19 pandemic has globally increased the risk of women being subjected to men’s violence. The risk for gender based and ‘honour’-based violence, as well as prostitution and trafficking, has also increased.
  • Therefore my Government has adopted a 99 point Action Programme for preventing and combating men’s violence against women.
  • We can never accept that anyone is denied their rights to decide over their own lives and their own bodies. The blame must be put where it belongs: on the perpetrators.

Ladies and Gentlemen!

  • The COVID-19 pandemic, the climate crisis and a war in Europe are profound shocks to our societies.
  • Our joint and multi-lateral efforts must be intensified.
  • We must continue to stand up for women’s and girls’ full enjoyment of human rights, including their sexual and reproductive health and rights.
  • We must continue promoting access to safe and legal abortions, contraceptives, and comprehensive sexuality education.
  • We must continue to stand up for peace, and security.
  • Responding to the pandemic and the climate crisis is about building a better world and a better future for all.

Thank you for your attention!