United States National Statement on
The Report of the Working Group on the Issue of Discrimination against Women in Law and in Practice on its Country Visit to the United States
June 16, 2016
The United States has long been a strong supporter of the special procedures mandate holders’ country visits, and we were pleased to welcome the Working Group on the issue of discrimination against women in law and practice last December. We also recently supported a visit by the Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent and have committed to hosting visits by the Special Rapporteur on the freedoms of peaceful assembly and of association, the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, and the Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons before the end of 2016. We strongly believe that all states should be willing to listen with respect to well-intended and constructive criticism.
While we are justifiably proud of the progress our country has achieved to advance gender equality over the past century and more, we know that there is much ground left to cover. We are committed to keeping efforts to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls at the top of our policy agenda. The Working Group’s report on its visit to the United States raises many issues that the United States has been examining for years. Still, we intend to give this final version of its report all due consideration. We will take the Working Group’s recommendations seriously as a complement to the viewpoints of American women and our committed and outspoken civil society.
The United States is a large and diverse country with a complex and multilayered federal system of government. We appreciate that the Working Group on discrimination against women may have encountered some difficulty comprehending the nuances of our “melting-pot” culture and the complexities of our federal system, but we acknowledge that the Working Group’s experts made a sincere effort to recognize our diversity and understand our points of view. In addition, while we appreciate the Working Group’s effort to present a comprehensive analysis of the issues before it, we note that some of the report’s conclusions, in particular those regarding international human rights law, do not accurately reflect the relevant legal framework or Member States’ obligations. We thank the Working Group’s experts and staff for their efforts and for their report and look forward to collaborating with them and to supporting their mandate in the future.