Women's and girls human rights "under increasing pressure", says Swedish development minister; 39 Ministers issue joint statement advocating for protection of sexual and reproductive health and rights during pandemic

Sweden’s Minister for International Development Cooperation Peter Eriksson issued a statement, together with 38 other ministers and supported by 59 countries, highlighting the gender-related health threats exacerbated by COVID-19.

The statement addresses the importance of an equal and comprehensive global response to the pandemic, as it has reduced access to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) worldwide, including access to contraception, safe abortions, prenatal care, and safe deliveries. Reports of intimate partner violence have also increased as a result of the lockdowns. The ministers, therefore, emphasized the importance of integrating the gender perspective into all COVID-19 responses.

“We see, among other things, that women’s and girls' enjoyment of human rights is under increasing pressure. It is therefore crucial from the outset to take a perspective on gender equality and rights in analyses and actions and to demand that other actors, including the EU, the UN, and the financial institutions, do the same. Sweden's feminist government can make a difference. At this point, we must ensure that further developments are progressing and not regressing," said Peter Eriksson.

Press release – Government Offices of Sweden (in Swedish)

Sweden Global health