[gha] 25 Nov: Elimination of violence against women

  • From: Wadlowz@xxxxxxx
  • To: gha@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 25 Nov 2013 03:53:24 -0500 (EST)

_Association of World Citizens_ (http://awcungeneva.com/) 
AWC-UN Geneva 
In _Human Rights_ (http://awcungeneva.com/category/human-rights/) , 
_International Justice_ 
(http://awcungeneva.com/category/international-justice/) , 
_Solidarity_ (http://awcungeneva.com/category/solidarity/) , _United 
Nations_ (http://awcungeneva.com/category/united-nations/) , _Women's Rights_ 
(http://awcungeneva.com/category/womens-rights/) , _World Law_ 
(http://awcungeneva.com/category/world-law/)  on  November 24, 2013 at 6:32 PM  
By René Wadlow 
When in his Nobel Peace Prize address (1974),  Sean MacBride (1904-1988) 
cited torture along with the development and  acceptance of indiscriminate 
nuclear weapons, the use of chemical weapons, and  political assassination as 
signs of a “near total collapse of public and private  morality in 
practically every sector of human relationship”, he stressed his  central 
theme: the 
necessity of nongovernmental actions to ensure  survival. 
Although MacBride had served as the Irish Foreign Minister from 1948 to 
1951  and played an important role in the creation of the Council of Europe, it 
was as  a non-governmental organization leader that he made his full mark: 
as an early  chair of the Amnesty International Executive Committee 
(1961-1974), as Secretary  General of the International Commission of Jurists 
(1963-1970) and as chair of  the International Peace Bureau.  It was in his 
efforts to highlight  the wide use of torture that we started to work together  
Geneva.  He denounced torture techniques “that make the  medieval thumb 
screw and rack look like children’s toys”. 
Sean McBride, a true hero of the defense of human  rights.
He was particularly critical of torture and violence against  women.  He 
had been largely raised by his mother, the actress and  Irish nationalist Maud 
Gonne. His father, John MacBride, was hanged by the  British for his 
participation in the 1916 Easter uprising when Sean was  12.  Violence against 
women was doubly unjust: because it was violence  and because women were to be 
When Sean MacBride through Amnesty International first raised the issue of  
torture in the United Nations (UN) Commission on Human Rights, the 
government  representatives replied that torture might happen occasionally — 
are  always some brutal policemen or prison guards — but torture is rare and 
never a  government policy. However, once the issue was raised and taken up 
by other NGO  representatives, it became clear that torture is widespread, 
in different  cultures and in different political systems.  Finally, the UN  
Commission on Human Rights named a Special Rapporteur on Torture and 
developed a  systematic way of looking at torture complaints. 
Likewise, it has largely been the same pattern for raising awareness of  
violence against women. When the issue was first raised by representatives of  
nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), governments replied that violence 
against  women exists but is rare or that it is “domestic violence” and 
governments  cannot act unless there are actions taken by the police. 
However, worldwide evidence was presented by NGOs that violence against 
women  exists to an alarming degree. Violence against women is an attack upon 
their  bodily integrity and their dignity.  As NGO representatives stressed,  
we need to place an emphasis on the universality of violence against women, 
the  multiplicity of its forms and the ways in which violence, 
discrimination against  women, and the broader system of domination based on 
subordination and  inequality are inter-related. 
‘Violence against women’, by Gaetano Salerno, 80x60cm,  2013.
In a response to the evidence, the UN General Assembly has set 25 November 
as  the UN-proclaimed International Day for the Elimination of Violence 
against  Women. The value of a special “Day” is that it serves as a time of 
analysis of  an issue and then of rededication to take both short-term and 
longer-range  measures. 
Both at the international UN level and at the national level, there have 
been  programs devoted to the equality of women and to the promotion of women 
in all  fields.  There has been growing attention to physical violence 
against  women, the creation of centers for battered women and attention given 
the  trafficking of women.  It has often been repeated that it is necessary 
 to ensure the education, training, good health, employment promotion, and  
integration of women so that they can participate fully and effectively in 
the  development process. 
Violence against women, an enduring global scourge. (c)  Wikipedia
Yet inequality continues, and walls still  exist that imprison women. On 
November 25, this day for the elimination of violence against women, we need 
to look at the  different forms of violence which keep such wall in place. 
Prof. René Wadlow is President and Chief Representative to the United  
Nations Office at Geneva of the Association of World Citizens. 

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