Hoppa yfir valmynd

Group of Friends for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Girls

Group of Friends for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Girls


Thursday, 2 December 15:00-17:00, Trusteeship Council


Remarks delivered by H.E. Jörundur Valtýsson, Permanent Representative of Iceland



Thank you, Ambassador Skoog, for convening us and my appreciation to UN Women and the panelists for their remarks and important information.


This meeting of the Group of Friends is timely: on day 8 of the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence.


And with the recently published UN Women report, which highlights that COVID-19 has intensified violence against women, with socio-economic stressors such as employment having a significant impact.


Ending violence against women and girls remains a priority for Iceland both domestically and internationally, which is why we took on the role as co-leaders in the Action Coalition for Gender-Based Violence in UN Women’s Generation Equality Forum.


We know that women’s economic empowerment is key to realizing gender equality. We have witnessed this in my country where women’s labor force participation is relatively high, which in turn has contributed to Iceland’s high ranking on the Gender Gap Index.


However, we also know that there is not always a straight line from women’s economic empowerment to a reduction in gender-based violence.


It is a complicated process, which requires us to simultaneously address various other factors, such as harmful gender norms.


This is also why Iceland presented various commitments and strategies at the Generation Equality Forum to address gender-based violence, both at home and abroad.


This includes emphasizing service delivery and access to justice for survivors of gender-based violence, as well as prevention strategies, for example, with a focus on challenging social norms and engaging men and boys to promote gender equality and become agents of change.


We would be happy to provide the Group with further information on the work of the Action Coalition.


To answer the Secretary General’s call to end violence against women, we must join forces and work together in partnership to drive transformative change.


And this Group of Friends and our personal engagement is very important in that respect.


Thank you again for convening us.



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