UN Human Rights Council - Report of the Working Group on the issue of discrimination against women in law and in practice (2016)

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In its Report on the issue of discrimination against women in law and in practice, the Working Group addresses the issue of discrimination against women with regard to health and safety. It states that the instrumentalization of women’s bodies lies at the heart of discrimination against women, obstructing the achievement of their highest attainable standard of health. The Working Group highlights in particular the health and safety situation of women who experience discrimination on multiple and intersectional grounds. Women’s non-discriminatory enjoyment of the right to health must be autonomous, effective and affordable and the State has the primary responsibility to respect, protect and fulfil women’s right to health in law and in practice, including where health services are provided by private actors. The Working Group found manifestations in all regions of instrumentalization, taboos regarding menstruation and breastfeeding and stereotypes which result in harmful practices such as female genital mutilation.