Human Rights Council Twenty-ninth session

Agenda item 3

Resolution adopted by the Human Rights Council on 2 July 2015

29/4. Elimination of discrimination against women

The Human Rights Council,

Guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations,

Recalling the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Convention on the

Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and all other relevant

international human rights instruments,

Recalling also the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, the Programme of

Action of the International Conference on Population and Development, the Beijing

Declaration and Platform for Action and the outcome documents of their review

conferences, the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action and the outcome document

of the Durban Review Conference,

Recalling further all relevant resolutions on the elimination of discrimination against

women of the Human Rights Council, the General Assembly, the Security Council and

other United Nations agencies and bodies,

Welcoming the inclusion of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and

girls as a stand-alone goal in the proposed sustainable development goals, and looking

forward to the integration of a gender perspective into the post-2015 development agenda,

Bearing in mind that international human rights treaties, including the Convention

on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the International

Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social

and Cultural Rights, prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender and include guarantees

to ensure the enjoyment by women and men, and girls and boys, of their civil, political,

economic, social and cultural rights on a basis of equality,

Recognizing that the full, equal and effective participation of women of all ages and

in all spheres of life, on an equal basis with men, is essential for the full and complete

economic, political social and cultural development of a country and for achieving lasting

solutions to global challenges and the realization of peace, and that gender equality and the

empowerment of women benefit women, men, girls and boys and society as a whole,

Emphasizing that women’s equal rights and their enjoyment in the cultural and

family life are closely linked to the enjoyment of human rights in all areas, including in

public, political, social and economic life,

Reaffirming that, while the significance of national and regional particularities and

various historical, cultural and religious backgrounds must be borne in mind, it is the duty

of States, regardless of their political, economic and cultural systems, to promote and

protect all human rights and fundamental freedoms,

Recognizing that respect for cultural and religious diversity and of cultural rights and

freedom of religion for all enhances pluralism and contributes to advancing the application

and enjoyment of human rights,

Reiterating that, to secure equal enjoyment by women of all human rights in all

aspects of life, discriminatory, repressive and violent practices against them should be

eliminated, regardless of their origin, including those occasions where culture and religion

are misused or misinterpreted,

Recognizing and deeply regretting that many women and girls, particularly those

belonging to vulnerable groups, face multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination and

are still subjected to discriminatory laws and practices, and that de jure and de facto

equality has not been achieved,

Recognizing that gender responsiveness is an essential part of the role played by

national human rights institutions as established by the principles relating to the status of

national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights (the Paris Principles),

adopted by General Assembly in its resolution 48/134 of 20 December 1993,

Acknowledging the work undertaken by the United Nations Entity for Gender

Equality and the Empowerment of Women, the Commission on the Status of Women, the

Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, the special procedures

mandate holders of the Human Rights Council and other relevant United Nations bodies,

funds, agencies and mechanisms to eliminate discrimination in law and in practice

throughout the world, and noting the work undertaken by the Office of the United Nations

High Commissioner for Human Rights on the issue,

1. Takes note of the report of the Working Group on the issue of discrimination

against women in law and in practice;A/HRC/29/40.

2. Affirms that realizing human rights requires the full, effective and meaningful

participation and contribution of women and girls in all aspects of life, on an equal footing

with men and boys;

3. Calls upon States to ensure women’s equal enjoyment of all human rights by,

inter alia:

(a) Adopting and strengthening national legal frameworks promoting and

guaranteeing gender equality in cultural and family life, in accordance with their

international obligations and commitments;

(b) Promoting the equal and full access, participation and contribution of women

and girls in all aspects of life, including in cultural and family life;

(c) Rejecting any discriminatory practice and gender stereotype;

(d) Adopting or strengthening measures to combat multiple and intersecting

forms of discrimination, in particular against those belonging to vulnerable groups;

4. Also calls upon States to promote a culture free from all forms of

discrimination against women and girls and to address its root causes by, inter alia:

(a) Developing national mechanisms, measures and policies, as appropriate;

(b) Adopting awareness-raising campaigns, educational and informational


(c) Promoting the mobilization and engagement of civil society organizations

and other relevant stakeholders, including that of men and boys;

(d) Providing gender-equality training for State civil servants, including those

working on the judiciary;

(e) Adopting a coherent set of gender-responsive social and economic policies;

(f) Addressing poverty and social exclusion in order to overcome the structural

barriers and inequality that they face;

5. Urges States to take all appropriate measures to modify the social and

cultural patterns of conduct of men and women with a view to achieving the elimination of

prejudices and customary and all other practices that are based on the idea of the inferiority

or the superiority of either of the sexes or on stereotyped roles for men and women;

6. Calls upon States to take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination

against women in all matters relating to marriage and family relations, and to guarantee

women’s equality in law and in practice in family life, in accordance with their respective

international obligations and commitments by, inter alia:

(a) Recognizing the equality of all family members before the law;

(b) Opposing all forms of marriage that constitute a violation of women’s and

girls’ rights, well-being and dignity;

(c) Ensuring that men and women have the same right freely to choose a spouse,

to enter into marriage only with their free and full consent and the same rights and

responsibilities during marriage and at its dissolution;

(d) Ensuring the same rights for both spouses in respect of the ownership,

acquisition, management, administration, enjoyment and disposition of property;

(e) Ensuring the same rights and responsibilities with regard to guardianship,

wardship, trusteeship and the adoption of children, or similar institutions where these

concepts exist in national legislation; in all cases, the interest of the children shall be


7. Reaffirms the importance of the right to education as a key to the

empowerment of women and girls and for ensuring equality and non-discrimination, and

that States should adopt measures to ensure the equal access of girls to quality education; to

eliminate discriminatory laws and practices that prevent them from having access to,

completing and continuing their education, and to provide incentive mechanisms to this

end; and to develop and implement programmes, as appropriate, that specifically aim to

eliminate gender disparities in enrolment and gender-based bias and stereotypes in

education systems, curricula and materials, whether derived from any discriminatory

practices, social or cultural attitudes or legal and economic circumstances;

8. Urges States to ensure that women have equal access to all economic,

financial, fiscal and social services and benefits without discrimination, including those that

head a family;

9. Calls upon States to promote the rights of women and girls and to support

their empowerment by adopting, as appropriate, a coherent set of gender-responsive

policies directed at cultural and family life;

10. Also calls upon States to promote reforms, the effectiveness of institutional

mechanisms and good governance, and to accelerate the implementation of legal

frameworks and policies directed towards achieving equality and the elimination of all

forms of discrimination against women and girls, including nationality laws;

11. Further calls upon States to take concrete steps directed to achieve gender

equality and the empowerment of women at all levels of policymaking processes and

decision-making positions;

12. Stresses the need to accelerate efforts at all levels to eliminate all forms of

violence against women and girls, including domestic violence;

13. Also stresses the need to accelerate efforts to ensure accountability and due

diligence for acts that violate women’s rights by adopting measures to, inter alia:

(a) Prevent violations and prosecute and punish the perpetrators, and combat


(b) Address the needs of women and girls victims and avoid their re-


(c) Guarantee access to justice and effective remedies and redress that take into

account multiple, intersecting and aggravated forms of discrimination;

14. Further stresses the need to make the formal legal system accessible to all

women, regardless of any status;

15. Urges States to recognize the important role that the media can play in the

elimination of gender stereotypes and in the promotion of gender equality and the

empowerment of women and girls;

16. Recognizes that civil society organizations, in particular independent

women’s organizations and human rights defenders, do important work in promoting full

equality in all aspects of life, including cultural and family life, and eliminating violence

against women and girls, and that they therefore require support for their sustainability and


17. Calls upon all States to cooperate with and assist the Working Group in its

task, to supply all necessary available information requested by it and to give serious

consideration to responding favourably to its requests to visit their country to enable it to

fulfil its mandate effectively;

18. Invites relevant United Nations agencies, funds and programmes, the treaty

bodies, within their respective mandates, and civil society actors, including non-

governmental organizations, as well as the private sector, to cooperate fully with the

Working Group in the fulfilment of its mandate, and requests the Working Group to

continue to engage with the Commission on the Status of Women, including by

participating in its work and reporting, on request;

19. Notes with appreciation the intention of the Working Group to focus its next

report on the issue of discrimination against women in law and in practice in health and


20. Decides to continue its consideration of this issue in conformity with its

annual programme of work.

42nd meeting

2 July 2015

[Adopted without a vote.]