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PACE President, at the UN, urges ‘a pushback against the pushback’ on gender equality

PACE President Liliane Maury Pasquier, ending a visit to New York where she took part in the UN Commission on the Status of Women, has joined UN Secretary General António Guterres in calling for a “pushback against the pushback” on gender equality.

Urging action to promote the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and particularly the goal of achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls, the President highlighted the Council of Europe’s pioneering text to counter domestic violence, the Istanbul Convention, as well as her own #NotInMyParliament initiative to stamp out sexism and harassment in European parliaments.

“One would expect parliaments to be a ‘safe place for women’, but they are not. Sexism, harassment and violence against women are prevalent in all sectors of life, and parliaments are unfortunately a microcosm of society,” the President said.

More widely, the backlash against women’s rights could be situated in the context of the backlash against both human rights and multilateralism, she pointed out.

As well as meeting the Secretary General, the President held a series of high-level meetings with UN officials and took part in a workshop on the impact of sexism, harassment and violence on women parliamentarians.