UN related

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.

Campaigners against female circumcision have scored a major victory with the approval by a United Nations committee of a resolution calling for a global ban on female genital mutilation (FGM).

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."
 
To download the full report please click on the attachment below. 

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.

In a groundbreaking achievement for upholding the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the United Nations Human Rights Council (the Council) has passed a resolution on human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity (L9/rev1). The resolution, presented by South Africa along with Brasil and 39 additional co-sponsors from all regions of the world, was passed by a vote of 23 in favour, 19 against, and 3 abstentions. A list of how States voted is below.

Special Rapporteur has been appointed by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to investigate the situation in Iran. When asked how this would effect the situation in Iran, human rights lawyer Shadi Sadr told Arseh Sevom that the reports of previous Special Rapporteurs (Galindopole and Copithorne), appointed before the establishment of the UNHRC, had a positive effect on the conditions in the country, particularly on those of political prisoners.

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