Prime Minister Erna Solberg, Minister of International Development Dag Inge Ulstein, and Minister of Culture and Equality Abid Q. Raja published a joint speech on the International Day of the Girl Child in which they focused on the setback for women's and girls' rights during the COVID-19 crisis.
The ministers emphasized that education for girls is an important intersectional area for Norwegian development assistance and called for a stronger international collective action to achieve gender equality and to prevent the consequences of the ongoing pandemic.
Some other areas they listed as important to address are the following:
- Preventing conjugal slavery (forced and child marriage) and female genital mutilation (FGM);
- Strengthening efforts to stop gender-based violence (GBV) and increase access to sexual and reproductive health services;
- Decreasing infant mortality and maternal mortality; and
- Protecting children’s vaccination programs (Norway is working hard to combat this with its leading position in global health and increased funding to Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance).