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.

Margot Wallström, the recently appointed Secretary-General’s Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, voiced concern about the “lingering assumption that sexual violence is a tradition, rather than a tactic of choice” by groups engaged in war.Sexual violence during conflicts is all too often downplayed and treated as part of local cultural traditions instead of being viewed as a war crime, a senior United Nations official has warned as she called for much greater international action to defeat the scourge.

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The United Nations has invited a newly established group of independent experts to advise on ways to better protect women in conflict situations, and to ensure that their voices are heard in peace processes and that they are included in post-conflict reconstruction and governance structures.

The Beijing Conference on Women was an extraordinary moment in the history of transnational women’s movements, and its outcome document, the Platform for Action, has become a watershed in the lives of countless women and girls the world over for the past 15 years. Women’s rights advocates all over the world including us in the Global Campaign to Stop Killing and Stoning Women, continue to draw part of the legitimacy for our cause from the Beijing Platform for Action which states that … “

The Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women said Friday that “any agreement reached with the Taliban in Afghanistan should include a clear commitment to respect and protect women’s human rights.” The Committee urged the Afghan government and its international allies “to ensure that women representatives are included in the upcoming peace and development dialogues and negotiations with the Taliban,”

In April 2005, the Commission on Human Rights, in resolution 2005/80, decided to appoint, for a period of three years, a special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism. Like other Special Procedures, this mandate was assumed by the Human Rights Council (General Assembly resolution 60/251), and extended for one year, subject to the review to be undertaken by the Council (Human Rights Council decision 2006/102).

The Covention on the Elimination of all forms of Discriminations Against Women adopted in 1969 by the United Nations General Assembly is described as an international bill of rights for women. The Covention establishes an agenda of action for putting an end to sex-based discrimination.

Adoptée par le Conseil de sécurité à sa 4213e séance, le 31 octobre 2000. Rappelant ses résolutions 1261 (1999) du 25 août 1999, 1265 (1999) du 17 septembre 1999, 1296 (2000) du 19 avril 2000 et 1314 (2000) du 11 août 2000.

The adoption of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 in 2000 was watershed in the evolution of international women's rights and peace and security issues.

The United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women

Convened in 1995 in Beijing, following the previous ones that took place in Mexico City in 1975, Copenhagen in 1980 and Nairobi in 1985, the Conference coalesced preparations by delegates into the formulation of a Platform for Action that sought to draw a strategic blueprint to achieve greater equality and opportunity for women.

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