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.
A 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.
Thank you Mr. President. I am delivering this statement on behalf of Shirkat Gah - Pakistan, Baobab for Women’s Human Rights –Nigeria, IWRAW Asia Pacific, Partners for Law in Development – India, and the Violence is Not our Culture campaign. The Vienna Declaration and Program of Action affirms that “the human rights of women and of the girl-child are an inalienable, integral and indivisible part of universal human rights”. It prioritises the full and equal participation of women in all dimensions of their lives. It calls for the eradication of all forms of discrimination on grounds of sex as a priority objective of the international community. It considers that acts of gender-based violence, including those resulting from cultural prejudice, are incompatible with the dignity and worth of the human person, and must be eliminated. Coupled with the fact that 186 members States of the UN have also ratified the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women, States are legally obligated to ensure that the social causes of inequality and discrimination against women are eliminated, including those based on social and cultural patterns of conduct that are premised on the inferior or subordinate status of women in family and in public life.