Gender Equality report by Rapporteur Khan

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Irene Khan rapporteur of generation equality

Geneva, 20 October 2021 (TDI): The Special Rapporteur on the protection of freedom of expression, Irene Khan, presented the report; on gender equality. Khan’s report talks about gender justice, and freedom of expression.

Irene stated that laws, policies, and discriminatory practices punish, suppress, and control women’s voices. Khan also addressed the issue at the General Assembly, on Monday; and will hold a side event, tomorrow. As she made a call to States to remove the gender digital divide, gender data gaps, to promote gender equality .

Khan also stated that gender-based violence, hate speech, and disinformation; are the tools, to undermine women’s freedom. According to the UN expert, women’s equality on freedom of expression. Khan also mentioned that State’s continue to fail to respect, and protect women’s equality rights.

Irene mentioned as well that gender censorship has become more pervasive. The gendered censorship, heightens with the rise of populist, authoritarian, and fundamentalist forces. Khan then mentioned that women journalists, politicians, human rights activists, and defenders; were being targeted.

According to her, they suffered, and suffer from coordinated online attacks, and intimidation. This is to drive them off social media, and public life. Khan remarked that this undermines human rights, media diversity, and also inclusive democracy.

Khan then argued that there can be no trade-off between women’s right to be free from violence. Khan also called the States to not use efforts to address online gender-based violence as pretext. This is to prevent the pervasive restriction of freedom of expression.

COVID-19 IMPACT

Second, Khan then urged the States to close the gender data gaps, the digital divide, and other barriers to women’s right to information. This includes sexual, and reproductive health, and rights. Irene then mentioned the impact of Covid-19.

Khan stated that to the economic recovery, and for the women to recover lost ground; women’s right to freedom of expression is important. So she urged the States to include it to their agendas. Khan added that gender justice requires the termination of unlawful interference with women’s freedom of expression.

It also needs to enable an environment in which women can participate fully, and equally in the political, social cultural, and economic life. Khan was appointed by the UN Human Rights Council, on 17 July 2020. She is also the first woman to hold the position since the establishment of the mandate in 1993.

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