March 17, 2017

New York—The International Women’s Health Coalition is deeply troubled by the Trump Administration’s appointment of the Center for Family and Human Rights (C-FAM) and the Heritage Foundation to the US delegation for the 61st annual United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. C-FAM, which opposes sexual and reproductive health and rights, as well as family planning initiatives, has been designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center for its often violent rhetoric on LGBTQI rights. The Heritage Foundation is an ultra-conservative, right-wing organization that claims the UN and global agreements that promote gender equality and women’s rights undermine “family, religion, and sovereignty.”

“The appointment of these two groups as part of a US delegation is an insult to the hundreds of advocates and delegates from around the world, who respect and seek to further the rights and valuable contributions of women,” said Françoise Girard, President of the International Women’s Health Coalition. “If, as Ambassador Haley said in her remarks today, all governments should support girls and women to show their power and be free, then these discriminatory groups have no place on the official US delegation.”

The Commission is one of the most significant global gatherings on women’s rights, drawing representatives from governments around the world, UN agencies, and nonprofit organizations. The appointment of C-FAM and the Heritage Foundation contrasts with the moderate tone that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson took during his confirmation hearings, during which he said, when you empower women, “you change the future of the country because you change the cycle within that family.”

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