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50th Session of the Human Rights Council

CANZ Joint Statement during the Annual Discussion on Women’s Rights, 27 June 2022

Mr President,

I am pleased to deliver this statement on behalf of Canada, Australia and my own country New Zealand.

Women and girls are often the primary caregivers for children, elderly relatives and family members with disabilities. This is important and valuable work but it is often undervalued, unrecognised, unpaid, or underpaid. Many women and girls providing care are required to give up or limit their paid work, education or training to meet the care needs of their families and households.  They may not have access to important social security benefits, such as health services or pensions. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated both the unequal distribution of unpaid care work and the care crisis. This is why we need to take a gender responsive approach to improve our care and support systems.

Gender responsive policies consider gender norms, roles, and inequalities and take measures to actively address them. When care and support systems are affordable, adequately resourced and accessible, everyone benefits. This also supports the fulfilment of women and girls’ human rights, by effectively removing barriers to their education and participation in the workforce.

Gender-responsive measures, such as equitable paid parental leave, and flexible working arrangements also acknowledge the importance and value of care and can contribute to more equitable distribution of caring responsibilities within families, households and society.

Thank you

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