The 14th of February marked the day to end violence against women and girls worldwide! Across the globe women and men joined the One Billion Rise Campaign, taking to the streets, striking, rising and dancing to say enough is enough!
Violence against women and girls is both a global and local societal ill—global because its perpetrators and victims are in every corner of the world, and local because its forms differ from one place to the next depending on specific cultural, political and socio-economic circumstances.
The International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation is observed each year to raise awareness about this practice. Female genital mutilation of any type has been recognized as a harmful practice and violation of the human rights of girls and women. WHO is committed to the elimination of female genital mutilation within a generation and is focusing on advocacy, research and guidance for health professionals and health systems.
Earlier this month, WLUML held its first transformational feminist leadership workshop as part of our ‘Women’s Empowerment and Leadership Development for Democratization’ program. Activists from Egypt, Sudan, Syria, Libya, Iraq, and Tunisia gathered in Cairo for one week of capacity building and strategizing. All participants were grassroots activists and/or feminists that are publicly engaged in advancing the cause of gender justice and equality.
Une Commission de l’Assemble générale des Nations unies a adopté une résolution contre les mutilations génitales féminines (MGF), ce qui représente un immense encouragement pour les organisations de la société civile qui luttent en vue de mettre fin à cette pratique destructrice.
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.