Tuesday, October 6, 2009

FLAG President on Violence Against Women

The President of the Female Lawyers Association in the Gambia (FLAG) Mrs. Janet T. Sallah Njie has stated that violence against women and girls is the most pervasive and yet is the least recognized human rights abuse in the world. Mrs. Sallah Njie was delivering a presentation on matters regarding violence against women at a consultative seminar on parliamentarians organized by GAMCOTRAP in collaboration with No Peace Without Justice on Tuesday 20th September at Kairaba Beach Hotel, Kololi.She noted that violence against women is a profound health problem, snapping women’s energy, compromising their physical health and also eroding their self esteem. “Despite its high costs, almost every society in the world has social institutions that legitimize, obscure and deny abuse,” she said.She further noted that for over four decades, women’s advocacy groups around the world have been working to draw more attention to the physical, psychological, and sexual abuse of women and also to stress the need for action. She dilated that those women advocacy groups have lobbied for legal reforms, and challenged the widespread attitudes and believes that support violence against women. Mrs. Sallah Njie further indicted that international institutions are speaking against gender based-violence, and also surveys and studies are collecting more information about the prevalence and nature of abuse. She further indicated that more organization services providers and policy makers are recognizing that violence against women has adverse impact for women’s health and society.She revealed that due to the concerted efforts of civil society associations, Non Governmental Organizations and Governments, the whole world recognizes the 25th day of November as the International Day for the elimination of Violence Against Women. This she said is a follow up to the recognition of the day and human rights defenders in the world also reengaged on 16 days of activism against Gender Violence, from the 25 November to 10 December, by embarking on activities and programmes geared towards ensuring the prevention and elimination of gender violence. She stated that the universal declaration on Elimination of violence against women places the issue of violence against women within the framework of existing international human rights standards and also be understood to present a moral commitment by UN member states to work towards eradicating violence against women.“The essential strength of the violence against women may prove to be found in it unambiguous terms, the direct reference domestic violence and acts occurring in the private sphere, and the exhaustive list of the forms of violence against women which should not and cannot be any longer tolerated,” she said. She noted that the primary weakness in the struggle against violence against women is that, the declaration is not a legally binding instrument, but it may act as a quasi-legal aide-memoir for governments when they are formulating and implementing policies relative to the rights of women. She said the declaration outlines the legal, administrative, social and educational measures which States should take to prevent and punish perpetrators of acts of violence against women.

source: foroyaa

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Violence against women is a worldwide yet still hidden problem. Freedom from the threat of harassment, battering, and sexual assault is a concept that most of us have a hard time imagining because violence is such a deep part of our cultures and lives.