Statement of the Republic of Lithuania on Advancement of Women at the 72 Session of the UN General Assembly Third Committee
Statement by H.E. Ms. Audra Plepytė,
Permanent Representative of Lithuania to the UN
at the Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly 72 Session
Item 28: Advancement of Women
Since it is the first time my delegation is taking the floor, please allow me to congratulate you on your election as the chairman of the Third Committee and to assure you of our delegation’s cooperation and full support.
Lithuania aligns itself with the statement made by the European Union.
Over decades, the UN has made significant progress in advancing gender equality and promoting full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all women and girls. Nevertheless, millions of women around the world continue to suffer violations of their human rights, are subjected to gender based violence, experience discrimination and inequality, be it in education, work or day-to-day life.
Achievement of real gender parity and true advancement of women require first and foremost the wholehearted actions at a national level. All our countries should take stock on the situation back home - to review and revoke any discriminatory laws and practices as well as to challenge stereotypes that hinder women’s empowerment and contribute to the gender based violence. Only then, the hard won progress in the area of women’s rights will be maintained.
From our side, Lithuania is further determined to uphold its commitment to fully implement the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action as well as to fulfil all its obligations under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.
With the aim to ensure equal opportunities in all spheres of life, including education, employment, and decision-making, the Lithuanian Government regularly updates the National Programme on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men and the related Action Plan.
One of the newly foreseen actions includes the development of gender impact indicators and introduction of gender impact assessment of all governmental programmes, policies and legal decisions.
Prevention and protection of women and girls from all forms of violence remains our central concern both – worldwide and domestically. Violence against women causes extreme physical and psychological harm and suffering. It also impedes their economic independence and imposes direct and indirect costs on victims as well as on a society as a whole. Therefore, we need comparable and high quality statistical data of these costs, which would help us better understand the magnitude of this phenomena and would allow us to choose right measures to eradicate this scourge.
Lithuania is strongly determined to achieve zero tolerance towards domestic violence. The Law on Protection against Domestic Violence against Women has been effective for over five years in Lithuania. A particular emphasis is put on result-oriented measures, such as awareness raising campaigns, competence building and training, as well as developing cooperation of the state and local institutions, NGO‘s and society. The network of specialised assistance centres, run by NGOs and financed from the State budget provides continuous assistance to victims of domestic violence.
Another priority area for Lithuania is ensuring life-and-work balance. We believe and strive for equal sharing of childcare and household responsibilities, including through equal access to parental leave, availability of quality childcare and care services for dependents. According to our laws, men and women have equal choice and allowance regarding parental or childcare leave and we are happy to see more and more men taking parental leave thus contributing to more equal share of responsibilities.
Being an active advocate for gender, Lithuania has undertaken various initiatives not only at a national, but also at regional and international levels. The most recent example was hosting of the first ASEM conference on women economic empowerment in May 2017. The meeting launched a new Asia-Europe dialogue on women empowerment and gender equality with the clear commitment to take forward cooperation and to achieve tangible results for the benefit of both Asia and Europe.
Let me conclude by reaffirming Lithuania's full commitment to the promotion of gender equality and advancement of women worldwide alongside the entire international community.
Thank you for your attention.
New York, 5 October, 2017