September 26, 2022 @ 16:00 – September 26, 2022 @ 18:00

Gender stereotypes and ensuing discrimination continue to result in the suppression, control, and punishment of the voices of women, girls and people of diverse gender identities, in an attempt to silence and exclude them from the public sphere and to create a chilling effect. This occurs via discriminatory legislation, policies and practices in society, both by State and private actors, including within the family, community, faith-based groups, the media and other non-state actors. It is exacerbated by increasing populist, authoritarian and fundamentalist forces. Women and girls and people of diverse gender identities are censored or otherwise punished for being perceived as challenging traditional notions of family and gender roles in society. Those who are active in the public sphere, such as women human rights defenders, women journalists and media workers, politicians or other women activists, are particularly targeted by threats and acts of violence, including sexual violence, killings and attempted killings. Persisting gender disparities related to digital technologies prevent access to information and threaten the human rights of women, girls and people with diverse gender identities as well. All of these barriers also often overlap and become compounded. The panel discussion aims: · To foster a deeper understanding of the gender-based barriers to freedom of opinion and expression and their root causes; · To explore how the gendered barriers to freedom of opinion and expression can be dismantled in a comprehensive and sustainable manner, taking into consideration the intersecting forms of discrimination women, girls and people with diverse gender identitites are subjected to; · To discuss how the Council and its mechanisms can contribute to give visibility to the gendered dimensions of freedom of opinion and expression including in the analysis of human rights situations, in the formulation of recommendations, in informing policies and programmes and in developing more inclusive prevention and response measures to comprehensively tackle gender-based barriers to freedom of opinion and expression.

Chair: H.E. Mr. Federico Villegas, President of the Human Rights Council

Opening statement: Ms. Peggy Hicks, Director of the Thematic Engagement, Special Procedures and Right to Development Division, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Righs

Panellists: Ms. Irene Khan, Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression (video  message· Ms. Mariana Duarte, Programme Officer, Gender Partnership Programme, Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) · Ms. Julie Posetti, Global Director of Research at the International Center for Journalists · Ms. Mitzi Jonelle Tan, Convenor and International Spokesperson, Youth Advocates for Climate Action Philippines (video message)