67th Session of the Commission on Status of Women: National Statement by Finland at CSW67

Delivered on March 8th, 2023, by H.E. Mr. Thomas Blomqvist, Minister for Nordic Cooperation and Equality of Finland.

Chair, Your Excellencies, Dear Friends,

Finland aligns itself with the statement made by the European Union.

Finland is strongly committed to promoting gender equality and the rights of women and girls in all their diversity. Technology and innovations can play a remarkable role in this. In an increasingly digitalized world, new technologies should benefit everyone through human rights based solutions.

Finland stands in full solidarity with Ukraine and its people. This illegal invasion by Russia is also a violation of women and girls’ rights. As in every conflict, women are critical to achieving sustainable peace. We must continue supporting women in difficult situations around the world, such as in Afghanistan and Iran.

We are pleased to see that this year's priority theme builds on the Generation Equality process and its Action Coalition on Technology and Innovation. As a co-leader of the Action Coalition, Finland is committed to all of its four targets.

Firstly, promoting bridging the gender gap in digital access and competences, secondly, investing in feminist technologies and innovation, thirdly, building inclusive innovation ecosystems, and finally, as Finland’s priority: preventing and eliminating online and tech-facilitated gender-based violence and discrimination.

We look forward to enhanced understanding of the intersections of technology, innovation, education, and gender equality. In 2021, Finland allocated 17 million euros to this work. To maximize the potential of technology and innovations for advancing gender equality and to minimize the risks, a multi-stakeholder approach is needed.

Finland has a strong partnership with UN Women, whose work and leadership is more important than ever. We also support a broad range of women’s rights organizations, women human rights defenders and other civil society actors. Our aim is to strengthen full, equal, effective and meaningful participation of women and girls in all their diversity.

International cooperation must be enhanced to counter the increasing sexual and gender-based violence, harassment and hate speech, both offline and online. These pose a real threat to democracy by weakening women and girls’ participation in society.

It is necessary to develop gender-transformative solutions that tackle underlining discriminatory norms, attitudes, behaviors, and social systems.

Sexual and reproductive health and rights also need our attention. Universal access to quality comprehensive sexuality education is essential to the fulfillment of rights of all women and girls. Bodily autonomy is crucial to the participation and decision-making in the society, including in innovation and technology.

Dear friends,

As technology and innovations know no borders, it is imperative that we come together globally and make them gender-transformative. We fully support UN Secretary General’s call for adopting a comprehensive, joint definition for technology-facilitated gender-based violence to guide our work.

Thank you.