UN: UN expert calls for legally binding global standard to end violence against women

New York, US (PANA) - More than half-way through an international campaign to end violence against women, a top UN expert on the issue is calling for a binding international legal standard that holds UN member states accountable in fighting this widespread human rights violation.

According to UN estimates, one in three women worldwide is a victim of violence.

"With global estimates reaching epidemic proportions, it is deplorable that combatting violence against women has not yet attracted the same level of focus, commitment and resources as non-gender crimes," Ms. Rashida Manjoo, UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women said on Wednesday in a statement.

She said the time had come to move beyond awareness-raising campaigns and the highlighting of statistics.

She also noted that the absence of a legally binding agreement at the international level was one of gravest obstacles to the promotion and protection of women’s rights and gender equality.

"Transformative change requires that the words and actions of States’ reflect an acknowledgement that violence against women is a human rights violation, in and of itself," the UN expert stressed.

"A different set of legally binding standards with a specific monitoring body negotiated by all UN Member States is urgently needed to ensure effective examination and accountability of States’ responses to the systemic and pervasive human rights violation experienced largely by women and girls.

"Violence against women has to be acknowledged as a barrier to the realization of all human rights, and consequently to the effective exercise of citizenship rights," she said.

She also said that the international community must adopt a holistic approach that addressed individual, institutional and structural factors that were a cause and a consequence of violence against women.

Ms. Manjoo also mentioned her latest reports presented to the UN Human Rights Council and UN General Assembly, calling for the adoption of different norms and measures to fight violence against women.

"I will continue to raise the matter of the normative gap under international law as regards violence against women," she pledged.

Last week, the UN commemorated the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, which was also the start of a 16-days-of-activism.

"The Orange Your Neighbourhood" campaign is a global call of action to end violence against women, critical for women’s participation in political, economic, civil and cultural spheres of their communities.

The campaign runs through 10 December, which marks the annual global celebration on Human Rights Day.
-0- PANA AA/MA 3Dec2014

03 december 2014 22:50:11

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