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“Human Rights for Women!”, “Human Right for All People!”

Category: Exclusive 
2009-02-20

On the basis of the Third Committee Declaration (A/54/598 and amendments 1 and 2), on December 17, 1999, the United Nations General Assembly passed Resolution 54/135 on International Day of Eradication of Violence against Women. That was a historically important moment as violation against women was legitimately recognized as one of the most disreputable violations of Human Rights 

Even in the XXI century the domestic violence against women statistic remains frustrating. Yet even the official statistic doesn’t completely reflect the real situation.

The figures are as following:
At least 34% of women have suffered from some kind of violence, including physical abuse.
20% of women might become victims of rape or rape attempts.
In most cases death of 15-44 years old women was caused by violence.

As 49.7% (or about 3 billion) of the world’s population are women it’s obvious that those figures are very high. Besides, it should be mentioned that more girls than boys are not born as a result of abortion because it is believed that girls can be conceived more easily than boys.  It appears that even before arrival in this world women are abused on the bases of their sex.

From geographical point of view it’s Asian women that most suffer from violence. Top rating of physical abuse, including homicide, belong to Australia, Canada, Israel, South Africa, Columbia and USA.

Even though the Georgian Domestic Violence Law stipulates keeping statistical account of family violence cases there is no exhaustive statistics on the problem so far. “Multi-component research of domestic violence against women” made by Georgian NGO “The Caucasus Women Consulting and Research Network” and issued in 2006 shows that 5.2% (approx. 75-85 000) of women have regularly been physically abused by their husbands or boy friends. 2.5% (35-40 000) of Georgian women are victims of sexual violence. The researche revealed that 82.9% of women are potential victims of economical violence, i.e. they suffer from financial deprivation and permanent dependence on their family member.

*****
In 2008 for the 18-th time the global action “16 Days of Counteracting Domestic Violence” under the UN aegis took place. It was kicked off on November 25, the “International Day of counteracting Women’s Abuse” and closed on December 10, the “International Day of Human Rights”. The action’s mottos were: ““Human Rights for Women!”, “Human Right for All People!

In the frame of that 16 day action UNIFEM organized collection of signatures for “Say NO to Violence against Women” action. At the moment 5 million “protesting votes” have been collected from more than one hundred countries of the world. Any user of the Internet can vote on www.saynotoviolence.org.

“Say NO to Violence against Women” action was personally supported by more than 60 country leaders and by 600 PM from more than 70 countries. Nichol Kidman, a famous actress and public figure, was “the face” of the action.
Initially the action was planned to last one year, but then it was decided just to keep it on.

*****
In Georgia the “Say NO to Violence against Women” action was coordinated by the UN Population Fund “Overcoming Gender Violence in South Caucasus”. It was organized and implemented by international and local NGOs dealing with domestic violence. Within 16 days more than 50 events took place both in Tbilisi and the regions of Georgia. Among them were TV talk shows on gender violence, demonstration of Georgian short films, Youths’ Conference on a healthy family and gender issues, Photograph Competition on women’s rights, publication and distribution of printed materials, signature collection to support the campaign and the Internet conference “Say NO to Violence against Women”.

The Forum of Women NGO representatives and members of the Parliamentary Council on Gender Equality held in the Georgian Parliament building was a final chord. The Forum was organized by the Parliamentary Council on Gender Equality and personally by Ms. Rusudan Kervalishvili, the Council Chairperson, with the support of the UN Project “Gender and Politics in South Caucasus”.

The Forum discussed Women NGO’s legislative initiatives on amendments and supplements to Organic Law “On Political Associations of Citizens”, “Ballot Code” and “Overcoming Domestic Violence, Victims’ Protection and Support” Act.  The Bill on amendments and supplements to the first two Acts was initiated by the Georgian Women Coalition, which had collected 32 000 voters’ signatures for its support. Today the Bill is to be considered by the Georgian Parliament.

Amendments to the Law “On Overcoming Domestic Violence and Victims’ Protection and Support”, Task Force to work out a new 2009-2011 State Action Plan of the Law Implementation, a new version of the Bill on “Gender Policy” and Georgian NGOs’ peace initiatives were also discussed at the Forum.

Definitely the 16 day action’s objective - to draw public attention to the problem of women’s rights - was achieved. Hopefully the Acts, which are of great importance for Georgian women, will be perfected and the country will make good progress in building real democracy.

Its’ a pity that the action lasted only 16 days…

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