The UN Commission on Status of Women, Session 57, debated inclusion of child marriage in agreement on eliminating violence against women, as Malawi seeks to raise its legal age of marriage from 15 to 18. More than 140 million girls will become child brides by 2020 if current rates of early marriage continue, according to the UN.
We, the undersigned organisations and individuals, as represented in the Arab Caucus at the 57th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), are deeply concerned with the role of the leadership of our countries in the negotiations on the crucial issue of violence against women and girls.
Today sees the launch of a new Global Campaign to Stop Stoning. Rochelle Terman examines the history of this gendered practice of violence against women. With stoning, as with all forms of culturally-justified violence against women, it is very difficult to see where culture ends and politics begin.
We, the undersigned organisations and individuals across the globe, are again alarmed and disappointed that the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is wavering in its commitment to advance women’s human rights as demonstrated in the constant negotiation of the language in the outcome document continues.
Some horrific events over the past few months, including the shooting of a Pakistani schoolgirl and the rape and murder of a young Indian physiotherapy student, should have been an alert for the world to unite in preventing violence against women.
The U.N. General Assembly unanimously approved a resolution calling for a global ban on female genital mutilation, a centuries-old practice stemming from the belief that circumcising girls controls women's sexuality and enhances fertility.
GENEVA (18 October 2012) –In many countries of the world, adultery continues to be a crime punishable by severe penalties, including, in the most extreme instances, flogging, death by stoning, or hanging. Adultery laws have usually been drafted and almost always implemented in a manner prejudicial to women. Provisions in penal codes often do not treat women and men equally and establish harsher sanctions for women, and in some countries, rules of evidence value women’s testimony as half that of a man’s.
"Child marriage is a human rights abuse. It constitutes a grave threat to young girls’ lives, health and future prospects. Marriage for girls can lead to complications related to pregnancy and childbirth, and in developing countries these are the main causes of death among 15–19 year-old girls. For a girl, marriage can mean the end of her education, can set aside her chances of a vocation or career, and can steal from her foundational life choices.
Investing in girls, developing their social and economic assets, ensuring they have access to education and health services, and ensuring that they can postpone marriage until they are ready; all this means greater dignity for women. It also means healthier families and higher levels of gender equality. This in turn makes for stronger societies and more vibrant economies.
Investment in later marriage for girls is investment in development for everyone."
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The Human Rights Council (the Council) is the main body of the United Nations dealing with human rights. It is mandated, among other things, to promote universal respect for the protection of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all. The Council is also tasked with addressing situations of violations of human rights, including gross and systematic violations, and make recommendations thereon.