The UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders recently produced this report on the the situation of women human rights defenders. In response, the Women Human Rights Defenders International Coalition, of which MADRE is a member, produced this statement that was read at the Human Rights Council.  

Letter from Civil Society Organizations to State Representatives: Excellency, We are writing to you to strongly urge your government to actively engage in the negotiations on the resolution on “combating defamation of religions”/”combating religious hatred and denigration of religions” at the 16th Session of the UN Human Rights Council (“the Council”) that is currently taking place.  Specifically, we urge your government to vote against any resolution which refers to “defamation of religions” or similar terms such as “vilification” and “denigration” of religions and religious symbols, and support a resolution which omits such terms and focuses on freedom of expression, freedom of religion and non-discrimination in ways that properly reflect international human rights standards.

L’ONU-Femmes est pourvu depuis mercredi dernier, le 10 novembre, d’un Conseil d’administration formé de 41 membres. Ces élections ont été organisées par les 54 pays membres du Conseil économique et social des Nations Unies (ECOSOC). Les sièges ont été attribués de la façon suivante : dix pays d’Afrique, dix pour l’Asie, quatre pour Europe orientale, cinq pour l’Europe occidentale, six pour Amérique Latine et les Caraïbes et six pour les pays donateurs. 17 des 41 membres jouissent d’un mandat de deux ans et les 24 autres d’un mandat de trois ans. La création de cette entité indépendante avait été louée par l’ONU. Toutefois, les compétences virtuelles, pour le moment, jusqu’à l’entrée en fonction de l’institution en janvier prochain, sont déjà remises en question par les controverses autour de la présence de l’Arabie Saoudite au sein du Conseil d’administration au titre de pays membre bailleur de fonds.

La Résolution 1325 interpelle tous les Etats membres des Nations Unies, toutes les parties prenantes lors des conflits armés et tous les acteurs impliqués dans le processus de désarmement et de paix à aborder les questions relatives à la paix et à la sécurité en prenant en compte la dimension genre. C’est la première mesure portant spécifiquement sur les femmes que le Conseil de Sécurité des Nations Unies a adoptée depuis sa création.

We are writing to ask that the UN general assembly condemn stoning as a crime against humanity and issue an emergency resolution calling for an end to the medieval and barbaric punishment as well as the immediate release of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani and others sentenced to death by stoning.

“Nor can we stay quiet when people are denied fundamental rights – whatever their race or faith or age or gender or sexual orientation. It is unfortunate that laws that criminalise people on the basis of their sexual orientation exist in some countries. They should be reformed”.United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Around the world, people face human rights violations because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, including killings, criminal sanctions, torture, rape, arbitrary detention, violations of freedom of expression, and discrimination in accessing economic, social and cultural rights. On Friday 17 September, in an event hosted in Geneva, a high-level panel will consider how these urgent matters can best be addressed by the Human Rights Council and other human rights mechanisms.

The new Independent Expert in the field of cultural rights, Ms Farida Shaheed, presented her first report to the Human Rights Council on Monday 31 May 2010. The presentation was followed by an interactive dialogue with the Independent Expert, which took place in the morning of 1 June. The report presents the Independent Expert's preliminary views on the conceptual and legal framework of the mandate on cultural rights and the priority issues she plans to focus on in the future.

Dans les salles du bureau des Nations Unies à New York, les fonctionnaires ont examiné la proposition de regrouper en une seule « entité des genres » les nombreuses organisations de l'ONU qui encouragent l'égalité des sexes et les droits des femmes. Cette entité verrait son budget considérablement augmenté – De combien exactement? La question est encore débattue – et aurait à sa tête un responsable au rang de Sous-Secrétaire général.

On March 10, the Global Campaign To Stop Killing and Stoning Women (SKSW Campaign) hosted a forum to introduce the Women Re-claiming and Redefining Cultures (WRRC) programme and a screening of two video documentaries on violence against women and girls justified in the name of ‘culture’.

On March 3rd, a panel discussion on violence against women and girls justified in the name of culture was held by the Global Campaign to Stop Killing and Stoning women (SKSW Campaign) during the 54th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).The aim of the event was to present an overview of the diverse contexts the Campaign is active in, focusing on the frontline work of our partners in their local contexts, and to expand the Campaign’s outreach through the distribution of Campaign materials and networking.

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