Commission on the Status of Women: Our Concern, Our Response

shutterstock_105528395The main theme of this meeting was focused on protecting migrant women, refugee women and women seeking asylum from gender based violence.

Gilbert Saboya Sunye spoke of the governmental commitment to women around the globe, and the need to bring this dire situation to the forefront by giving a voice to the voiceless.Violence against women, particularly domestic violence was described as a scourge. One out of every five women globally have suffered at the hands of violence.

The Istanbul Convention, in terms of scope, is one of the most ambitious international treaties. The document describes gender discrimination, violence against women and fighting gender stereotypes. The ratification of this treaty was welcomed so that the member states are legally bound to comply with the outlined legal duties and obligations. Three countries have signed the treaty to date, but a larger consensus is necessary for the proposed ratifications to be made. Perpetrators of violence against women must be convicted of this crime no matter where they reside, and governments must invest in legal frameworks to aid these women who have been subject to victimization and its many heinous forms.

The role of NGOs, according to the treaty, must be implemented in order to ensure that societies prevent violence, protect women and banish stereotypes and stigmas. In many member states, the majority of services for victims of gender-based violence are run by non-governmental or civil society organizations. These organizations provide shelter, legal advice, medical and psychological counseling, and other support services. However, many such services experience funding insecurity and operate in small geographic areas. In most countries, the number of available services does not sufficiently supply the demand of victims. Often, this is because the provision of services is not considered a necessity, but a voluntary activity of NGOs.

By: Wayne Doyle

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