The present report focuses broadly on developments in the United Nations regarding violence against women, its causes and consequences, over approximately 20 years. The objective is to provide a snapshot view of these developments, including the expanding conceptualization of the theme of violence against women, its causes and consequences. The analysis of continuing challenges is underpinned by the work of the mandate as identified through thematic reports, country missions and participation in conferences and meetings.
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The development of women’s charters, manifestos and declarations serve as a demand for change and improvement in the status and lives of women; they are an articulation of the need for gender justice. These documents have given women a platform to demand their rights and voice their concerns over exclusion, inequality, discrimination and oppression. They serve as tools to challenge the roots of institutional and individual belief systems that continue to oppress women. Such documents also reflect a journey through a patriarchal maze at the state and non-state levels, in an attempt to reshape the fundamental norms and values of a society as regards women’s rights.
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The Human Rights Council requested the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to prepare a report, in consultation with States, United Nations agencies, funds and programmes, civil society and other relevant stakeholders, on preventing and eliminating child, early and forced marriage, with a particular focus on challenges, achievements, best practices and implementation gaps.
Women’s work in the economic sphere, and them being forced to assume productive gender role came as economic necessity and not due to the developing relations between the two genders, their liberation and equality”. This is one of the major outputs of a study conducted by ABAAD and World Vision and launched in April 2014. The study focused on five major aspects of women’s human rights, and was designed to act as a survey of how well women and men respondents are aware of the chosen rights and the issues. The objective of this study is identifying the knowledge of participating men and women of rights exercised mainly within the household scope. They include gender equality issues, violence against women and its forms, respecting women and their will within marriage (marital rape), gender equality in citizenship rights and the rights of elderly women to own property.
In August 2005, the Sri Lankan Parliament unanimously passed the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act No 34 (PDVA), marking the culmination of a legal advocacy process initiated by a coalition of women’s NGOs in 1999.
Iran is the first country where all women are forced by law to observe hijab laws. Without espousing a clear definition of hijab, Islamic Republic laws consider women who lack “Islamic veil” in “public” as committing a crime punishable by imprisonment and fines. Based on Sharia laws, Islamic hijab implies covering hair and the entire body except for wrists and hands.
The WLUML E-Gazette is a monthly publication sent out to subscribers which aims to shed light upon the activities of the network as well as important news about women in the Muslim world. The contents of the newsletter include the achievements of networkers and ICO members, events and conferences of relevance to the WLUML network, and valuable news pieces. We hope you enjoy this edition of the Gazette!
The year 2014 was meant to be the year that ended the Program of Action adopted by the Cairo Conference for Population and Development (ICPD) in 1994. The document was a paradigm shift in understanding and framing reproductive health and rights and prioritizing individuals’ rights to choose and make decisions with regards to their own bodies. Now that the General Assembly extended the PoA indefinitely, and will review country progress at its 2014 session, it is the right moment to evaluate the extent to which different countries in the region implemented the PoA and how this has changed the realities lived by women and youth regarding their sexual and reproductive health and rights. In the MENA region, acknowledging reproductive rights in a UN consensus document has greatly contributed in enhancing the countries’ policies especially in maternity care, family planning services and HIV/AIDS. Yet, cultural and religious discourses still play a major role in holding back sexual rights especially for young people. Women’s autonomy over their bodies is still a highly debated issue because of the deeply embedded patriarchal culture, which is also reflected in an unprecedented increase in the level of sexual violence against women.