GENEVA – “Women and girls who are forced to marry find themselves in servile marriages for the rest of their lives,” warned United Nations Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Slavery, Gulnara Shahinian, in a statement to commemorate the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, which is celebrated on 2 December. “They are deprived of their genuine right to make their own choice for their future.”
According to a 2005 World Health Organization study, at least one in three women worldwide will be beaten, raped, or abused in her lifetime. The eradication of all forms of gender-based violence is integral to the struggle to achieve social justice and gender-equality. Violence against women permeates through every boundary, from the private to the public.
“Ensuring women’s and girls’ rights, eliminating discrimination and achieving gender equality lie at the heart of the international human rights system, starting with article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states unequivocally: ‘All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights…’
Realizing women’s cultural rights can play a key role in ensuring that women’s rights are respected more widely. Farida Shaheed, UN expert in the field of cultural rights, proposed to shift the paradigm from one that views culture merely as an obstacle to women’s rights to one that seeks to ensure women’s equal enjoyment of cultural rights.
LONDON (TrustLaw) – African member states of the United Nations have submitted a draft resolution on ending female genital mutilation (FGM) to the U.N. General Assembly, in what campaigners have hailed as a landmark step to end a practice that has been inflicted on up to 140 million women and girls.
The world is encouraged as Malala Yousafzai continues her fight since being shot in the head by the Taliban simply because she wanted to go to school. This weekend when she stood up for the first time since being laid low by the dreadful attack, the world witnessed her standing up for 32 million girls around the world who are denied daily their right to go to a classroom and learn.
In the past few weeks, in several countries, groups of citizens have openly taken a stand against Muslim fundamentalists, including armed ones.
In Mali, on a number of occasions, citizens attempted to stop public amputations, stonings and floggings; Malian women also attacked AQMI (Al-Qaida au Maghreb islamique) in an attempt to stand up against the imposition of a so-called ‘Islamic dress code’ that is totally alien to their culture ( but have you heard anyone in Europe stand up in defence of their right to preserve their culture, their traditional way of dressing which is NOT the freshly imported so-called ‘Islamic veil’ Saudi style?). In response, fundamentalist armed groups fired at them with sub-machine guns.
Kinda Mohamadieh highlights the shortcomings of the last two decades of policy practice in the Arab Region. She looks at the positions of feminist and women’s groups on economic and social rights and policies in the Arab region addressing how to enforce equality and gender justic‘e in the policymaking in the region. She discusses the economic and social demands that lie at the heart of the revolutions witnessed in the Arab region, as well as the challenges to reclaiming citizenship and democracy within a system of global governance tilted to serve a mainstream orthodox economic model. She highlights the need for deepening the perspective and position of feminist and women’s groups on economic and social rights and policies in the Arab region.
To download the full report please click on the attachment below.
Joint Statement by a group of UN human rights experts to mark the first International Day of the Girl Child
“Girls who are forced to marry are committed to being in slavery like marriages for the rest of their lives. Girls who are victims of servile marriages experience domestic servitude, sexual slavery and suffer from violations to their right to health, education, non-discrimination and freedom from physical, psychological and sexual violence.