Statement by Reem Alsalem, Special Rapporteur on violence against women and girls* on AWID ‘s open letter of 18 May 2023 “There Is No Place for Anti-Trans Agendas in the UN”

In the letter, AWID and its co-signatories stated that I had “weaponized “protection of women’s rights” to advocate for positions that misrepresent and regress from international norms and standards.

I will not dwell on these false and dangerous allegations, as I have done so elsewhere in great detail . . .  The letter by AWID did however contain one novelty, which I found very concerning, namely its allegation that I reportedly continue to “perpetuate narratives upholding outdated and non-scientific understandings of binary biological sex.”

There is nothing outdated or unscientific about the binary nature of sex, and I would encourage signatories of this letter to seek out biologists for a conversation around this issue.

[T]he letter also has the intention of punishing and silencing me, a fate that many women, girls, and their allies across the world continue to experience when they speak on the issues of sex, gender, and gender identity.

Hence, and 21st of June 2023, a day before my interactive dialogue at the Human Rights Council, 781 organizations and more than 2,600 individuals from over 60 countries signed a letter entitled “Let the UN Special Rapporteur on VAWG Deliver her Mandate”.

I was and continue to be gravely concerned at the way in which organizations that claim to be human rights centered and feminist, and from which a number are accredited with the human rights council, still continue to position themselves as the custodians of the feminist movement, villainizing those who do not agree with their views, and attempt to ban discussions on issues that many women and girls, in all their diversity, as well as their societies clearly care about.

Source: Microsoft Word – SR VAWG – Response to AWID.docx – SR-VAWG-Response-AWID.pdf

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