A/HRC/RES/26/15 violence against women and girls seriously violate and impair or nullify their enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms and constitute a major impediment to the ability of women and girls to make use of their capabilities, Recalling that the threat of violence, including all forms of harassment, is a permanent constraint on the mobility of women and girls, limits their access to resources, services and basic activities, and impedes their economic and political empowerment, Emphasizing the need for States, and all segments of society, including civil society organizations, the private sector and the media, as well as community leaders, including tribal leaders, and religious leaders to take meaningful steps to promote the empowerment of women and girls in order to achieve gender equality and to strongly condemn and address attitudes and behaviours that perpetuate violence against women and girls, Stressing that any custom, tradition or religious consideration should not be invoked by States to avoid their obligations with respect to the elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls, as set out in the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, Acknowledging the important role that men and boys can play in preventing and eliminating violence against women and girls, and further encouraging men and boys to take an active part and become strategic partners and allies in the prevention and elimination of all forms of violence and discrimination against women and girls, and the importance of effectively responding to violence against boys as well, in order to break the intergenerational cycles of violence, Recognizing that poverty and lack of empowerment of women, as well as their marginalization resulting from their exclusion from social policies and from the benefits of education, health and sustainable development, can place them at increased risk of violence, and that all forms of violence against women and girls, including sexual violence, are impediments to the development of their full potential as equal partners in all aspects of life, as well as obstacles to the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals, Recognizing also the continuing need to increase women’s full and effective participation in all actions and activities related to the prevention and resolution of armed conflict, the maintenance of peace and security and post-conflict peacebuilding in line with relevant Security Council resolutions, including Council resolution 1325 (2000) of 31 October 2000 and related resolutions, Recognizing further that child, early and forced marriage continues to be an impediment to not only the economic, legal, health and social status of women and girls but also to the development of the community as a whole, and that the empowerment of and investment in women and girls, as well as their meaningful participation in decisions that affect them, are a key factor in breaking the cycle of gender inequality and discrimination, violence and poverty and is critical for sustainable development and economic growth, Expressing concern about institutional and structural discrimination against women and girls, such as laws, policies, regulations, programmes, administrative procedures or structures and services that directly or indirectly regulate access to institutions, property and land ownership, health, education, employment and access to credit, which negatively affect women’s empowerment and increase their vulnerability to violence, Recognizing that indigenous women and girls, women and girls with disabilities, older women, women migrants and minorities often experience multiple forms of discrimination, which may increase their vulnerability to all forms of violence and limit their ability to participate in, contribute to and enjoy economic, social, cultural and political autonomy, 2

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