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Female circumcision, AIDS discrimination to be monitored - Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women.
UN Chronicle. 1990 Jun; 27(2): p..The eradication of female circumcision and avoidance of discrimination against women victims of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) were the subjects of two general recommendations adopted at the ninth annual session of States Parties to the 1979 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. The 100 States Parties were asked to report to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women-the 23-member body which monitors compliance with the instrument-on measures taken to eliminate female circumcision which, it stated, has "serious health and other consequences for women and children". (excerpt)
[African Campaign against Violence towards Women. Break the silence. Say no to violence] Campagne Africaine contre les Violences Faites aux Femmes. Brise le silence. Dis non a la violence.
Dakar, Senegal, UNIFEM, Regional Office for Francophone Africa and the Maghreb, 1999 Apr. 96 p.Although women’s rights have been recognized as being human rights for approximately 50 years, women remain subjected to violence during war, in refugee camps, on the street, in the workplace, and at home. Violence against women is universal and comes in many different forms. Sexual discrimination is responsible for a global shortfall of approximately 60 million women who would otherwise be living; 1 woman every 9 seconds in brutalized in the US by her sexual partner; approximately 5000 young girls daily suffer genital mutilation; more than 5000 women are killed each year in India for dowry-related reasons; and over 15,000 women were raped during the Rwandan conflict. This paper explores the following aspects of violence conducted against women globally: general facts upon such violence, domestic violence, female genital mutilation, dowry-related murders, murder committed for honor, war crimes against women, rape and sexual abuse in civil society, and trafficking in women. African campaigns against violence committed against women are then described for Senegal, Mali, Morocco, Chad, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Mauritania, Togo, Cape Verde, and Cameroon. Examples are also presented from projects financed by the United Nations’ Special Fund to End Violence against Women.
The Board of the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) on the occasion of a Congress held in Berlin in July 1993 adopted the following Resolution on the Genital Mutilation of Females.
INTER-AFRICAN COMMITTEE TRADITIONAL PRACTICES AFFECTING THE HEALTH OF WOMEN AND CHILDREN. NEWSLETTER. 1993 Dec; (15):10.The International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) invoked the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the UN Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women to condemn the practice of female genital mutilation. The IHEU further called female genital mutilation an extreme form of female subjugation that eliminates the possibility of a woman participating equally with men in the enjoyment of sexual activity and said it represents gross child abuse and an appalling assault on the physiological health of the 80-100 million girls and women affected by the practice. The IHEU pledged its full moral and financial support to efforts to ameliorate this global problem and asked its institutions to monitor the situation. IHEU member organizations were called upon to lobby their governments and nongovernmental organizations to encourage appropriate education programs and to press for appropriate legislation to eliminate female genital mutilation.
The recommendations of the International Conference on Population and Development: the possibility of the empowerment of women in Egypt.
CORNELL INTERNATIONAL LAW JOURNAL. 1996; 29(1):191-223.This paper opens by pointing out that Muslim support of the recommendations contained in the Program of Action of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) was gained only because ICPD participants agreed that individual country compliance would be limited by national constitutional statutes and religious doctrine. If Egypt interprets the ICPD's "full respect for ... religious and ethical values and cultural backgrounds" to mean "limited by" these factors, Egyptian women will remain unable to control their fertility. After this introduction, the first section of the paper summarizes the ICPD recommendations. Part 2 describes Islamic notions of women's role in society, and the third part shows how these ideas are mirrored in Egyptian society through an analysis of the importance of family and motherhood, Egyptian sexual standards, the veiling of women, and female genital mutilation. Part 4 considers the Islamic influence on Egyptian law, and the fifth part outlines past Egyptian efforts to achieve equality between the sexes. The paper ends by presenting the reforms that Egypt will have to institute to implement the ICPD recommendations. These include eliminating laws that perpetuate traditional gender roles and sexual standards. Egypt will also have to promote education as a key to empowering women and implementing the ICPD recommendations. It is also noted that women's organizations must play a key role in the reform process and that the process must take Islamic law into account.
[Resolution No.] 48/104. Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women [20 December 1993].
RESOLUTIONS AND DECISIONS ADOPTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY DURING ITS FORTY-EIGHTH SESSION. 1994; 1:217-9.On December 20, 1993, the UN General Assembly issued a Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women. The preamble to the Declaration refers to international human rights treaties and notes that the present resolution will strengthen the implementation process for the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. Violence against women is denounced as an obstacle to development, a violation of rights and fundamental freedoms, and a manifestation of historically unequal power relations between the sexes. Concern is also expressed for women in particularly vulnerable groups. The Declaration opens with a definition of "violence against women" as "any act of gender-based violence that results in . . . physical, sexual, or psychological harm or suffering to women. . .." Article 2 notes that these acts include domestic violence, sexual abuse, dowry-related violence, marital rape, female genital mutilation, rape, sexual harassment, forced prostitution, and violence perpetrated or condoned by any State. The third article states that women's rights are to include the right to life, to equality, to liberty and security of person, to equal protection under the law, to freedom from discrimination, to the highest attainable physical and mental health, to just and favorable employment conditions, and to protection from torture or inhuman punishment. Article 4 notes that States should condemn violence against women and should not invoke any custom, tradition, or religion to avoid their obligations to elimination such violence. This article also contains additional specific measures which States should follow. The fifth article covers ways in which the UN can contribute to this goal by taking such actions as fostering international and regional cooperation, promoting meetings and seminars, fostering coordination within the UN system, and cooperating with nongovernmental organizations.
Review of further developments in fields with which the Sub-Commission has been concerned. Study on traditional practices affecting the health of women and children. Final report.
[Unpublished] 1991 Jul 5. , 39 p. (E/CN.4/Sub.2/1991/6)In late 1990, representatives of the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities of the UN Economic and Social Council's Commission on Human Rights went to Djibouti and the Sudan to explore steps the governments and women's groups are taking to eliminate traditional practices adversely affecting women and children, especially female circumcision. The missions allowed the consultants to examine the problem with women and groups directly affected by the practices and within their cultural contexts. In 1991, the Centre for Human Rights and the Government of Burkina Faso organized the first regional Seminar on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children which considered the effects of female genital mutilation, son preferences, and traditional delivery practices, and facilitated the exchange of information on these practices to fight and eliminate them. The UN reviewed reports from governments, nongovernmental organizations, and UN agencies on these traditional practices. All these activities led the UN to make various observations and recommendations. The degree of public awareness about the harmful effects of female circumcision, nutritional taboos, and delivery practices have improved significantly. Governments and organizations have neither studied nor dealt with son preference and its effects adequately. More African governments were willing to address the problems of traditional practices, e.g., legislation against these practices. The Centre for Human Rights, WHO, UNICEF, and UNESCO should work together more closely to effectively take action on traditional practices. The Centre needs a full time professional staff to gather information, write reports, organize seminars, distribute documents, and network with appropriate organizations. The Sub-Commission should continue to have traditional practices on the agenda to keep it in the fore. No less than two more regional seminars on the issue should take place in Africa to discuss it and increase public awareness.
The United Nations, human rights and traditional practices affecting the health of women and children.
Development. 1993; (4):44-8.In 1991, the UN Commission of Human Rights presented a detailed report on 3 of the traditional practices which are harmful to the health of women and children: female genital mutilation, traditional delivery practices, and son preference. Female genital mutilation has received the most attention, and the World Health Organization (WHO) has supported a number of initiatives to eradicate it. In addition, the WHO Safe Motherhood Initiative was launched in the late 1980s to reduce the number of maternal deaths. WHO has resolved to gear its programs toward the elimination of harmful traditional practices. In 1984, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) held a seminar in Senegal and established the Inter-African Committee on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children which serves as a focal point of government and NGO activities. Meanwhile, a UN Working Group on genital mutilation, maternal practices, and son preference presented a report in 1986. Its tasks were then assumed by a Special Rapporteur who recommended that relevant UN agencies coordinate their work in this field more closely as they organize regional seminars, monitor the progress of work, and routinely include information on these practices in programs to improve the status of women. To date the UN's work has had few tangible results in preventing these practices and has failed to acknowledge the link between them and the more generalized problem of sexual discrimination. At one level, the problem is exacerbated by the difficulty of reconciling the competing concepts of universal human rights and cultural relativism. Also, human rights entitlements are sought from states and not in families. Despite these problems, the UN has given these matters international attention. The international community must affirm the universality of human rights norms and recognize the desirability of a culturally sensitive approach to the implementation of these norms. NGOs have also played a crucial role in bringing these issues to the consideration of the human rights community.