On Tuesday 13th June, 2017, Sonia Zvedeniuk delivered a statement on behalf of United Nations Watch regarding violence against women.

Transcript

Thank you, Mr. President.

United Nations Watch supports the engagement of men and boys in the prevention of violence against women. Regrettably, in many cases, violence against women is actually legitimized and reinforced by the state in their laws and practices.

It is said that engagement is the answer. But is it taking place?

In a number of cases, this Council’s experts are attempting to visit such countries. In Northern Nigeria, Section 55 of the Penal Code allows husbands to beat their wives. In 2013, the Special Rapporteur on violence against women requested a visit. Four years later, no response.

In that same year, the rapporteur asked to visit Egypt, a country with one of the highest rates of sexual harassment. Yet to date, no visit has taken place.

In Pakistan, women and girls are subjected to honor killings and child marriages. In 2012, the working group on discrimination against women requested a visit. Five years later, no response.

In 2014, the group requested a visit to Iran, where a woman needs authorization from her husband to apply for a passport.  Three years later, no response.

Mr. President, there is a separate problem, which is that many of the worst abusers have never even received a request to visit. Indeed there is a question of priorities.

While this Council’s mandate on violence against women has conducted visits to Sweden, the Netherlands, and Australia, not one request has ever been made for Yemen, where over 10 percent of girls under the age of 15 are married to adult men, and where a woman is considered half a person before the court.

No request for Iraq, where thousands of women are victims of honor killings; none for Bahrain or Kuwait, countries where marital rape is legal; and none for the United Arab Emirates, where premarital sex is punishable by one hundred lashes. Not one request.

Mr. President, Where is the engagement?

And I would like to ask the panel: What can be done to increase scrutiny and protection for the victims, vulnerable women and girls worldwide, who need it most?

Thank you, Mr. President.

Author

unwatch

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