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International Day For Eliminating Violence Against Women

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International Day For Eliminating Violence Against Women

Women all over the world staged rallies to mark the November 25 2016 international day for the elimination of violence against women.

From historic convictions to impunity for gang rapes, 2016 has been a year of highs and lows when it comes to efforts to stem violence against women.

November 25 is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. It’s a day to reflect on the pain and resilience of survivors. And it’s a day to take stock of progress and failings in combating this pervasive human rights abuse.

On that day, Turkish women voiced their solidarity to the cause by staging rallies to protest violence on Friday.

At Istanbul’s İstiklal Avenue hundreds of men and women gathered in a rally carrying banners reading “Women are Life” in Turkish, English, Arabic and Kurdish and chanted slogans denouncing acts of violence, plaguing women all across the world.

Speaking at the rally, Lütfiye Selva Çam, head of the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AK Party) women’s wing, said violence against women is not an issue that women should tackle alone, men should support their cause as well.

Also, women community leaders from 45 districts of Pakistan urged women and girls to stand up for their rights and become a change agent in their families.

They were speaking at Women’s Convention jointly organised by Strengthening Participatory Organisation (SPO), South Asia Partnership Pakistan (SAP PK), Sungi, Aurat Foundation and UKaid under Awaz programme. The event was organised to commemorate 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence. Provincial Minister for Social Welfare, Sindh, Shameem Mumtaz was the chief guest on the occasion.

Speaking at a penal discussion, women community leaders pointed out that physical violence has considerably decreased in the society but the psychological violence still exist in every household which is the biggest hurdle in the way of women empowerment.

In March, the International Criminal Court (ICC) reached its first conviction for sexual violence. It found a former Democratic Republic of Congo vice president, Jean-Pierre Bemba, guilty of rape, murder, and pillage in neighboring Central African Republic. Bemba was found guilty under the concept of “command responsibility,” in which civilian and military superiors can be held criminally liable for crimes committed by troops under their control.

In Senegal, a court convicted Hissène Habré, the former president of Chad, of personally committing rape as an international crime. In May, decades after his victims started fighting for his prosecution, Habré was convicted of torture, war crimes, and crimes against humanity, and sentenced to life in prison.

But despite these victories, impunity for violence against women remains a massive problem. Around the world, Human Rights Watch documented horrific violent attacks on women, with the attackers facing no punishment.

Elsewhere in Latin America, the UN has banned violence against women and  girls and has imposed large-scale costs for any violations. Voice of America shows a woman covering her mouth with a tape that reads “My sexuality is not your conjugal right” during a demonstration to support International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women in Santiago, Chile, Nov. 25, 2016.

women-protesting-violence-agaisnt-women3

In Nigeria, supervision officials and other authorities raped and sexually exploited women and girls displaced by the conflict with the armed group Boko Haram.

In Jordan, there was a spike in so-called “honor killings,” murders of women or girls by relatives for acts supposedly impinging family “honor.”

In South Sudan, Central African Republic, and Burundi, armed combatants gang raped women and girls. In Nepal, child marriage, as well as rape and physical abuse of child brides, is common.

And in some countries, reports this year revealed sexual violence that has continued for years. In the United States, military service members have faced not only sexual assault, but also retaliation if they reported the abuse.

In Burma, the military has committed rape and other sexual violence relating to the country’s decades-long civil wars. Women raped in Kenya’s 2007-2008 post-election violence have been unable to obtain reparations or justice. The list of horror goes on.

The international day for the elimination of violence against women creates awareness about the need to denounce acts of violence against women and encouraging the girl child to stand up for their rights in a society they rightly belong to.

It is also aimed at calling the attention of the appropriate authorities to prosecute any offenders and send a warning to the general public that there are consequences for violating women.

It’s a day to take stock of progress and failings in combating this pervasive human rights abuse.

It is a day to remind everyone that women are the lifeline of all humans and as such, an integral part of society that should be cherished and treated with care.

Source; www.huffingtonpost.com, www.dailysabah.com, www.thenews.com.pk

 

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