Take deterrent punitive measures ... a step towards reducing violence against women and girls
The United Nations General Assembly designated November 25 as the “International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.” It is no longer sufficient today to raise the slogan (stop violence against women) and to continue holding conferences and formal events without taking into account the adoption of deterrent punitive measures that put an end to all violations and problems that women and girls are exposed to, such as rape, domestic violence, underage marriage, honor killing and other different forms of violence. Moreover, one of the goals highlighted is to show the problems for what they are instead of being overlooked or condoned by the concerned authorities who are required to have a real and effective role to end violence, hold its perpetrators accountable, and inflict severe punishments on them.
16 days of events and activities against violence in any of its forms requires new working methods through concerted efforts between women and brave men to pave the way for a better, safer and more equal world, and to create platforms that make women and girls brave and able to express their voices and talk about their stories, and consult to solve their issues; failure to listen to them increases their suffering and deprives them of their right to live, as we have witnessed in the past two years (and due to the impact of the Corona pandemic that hit the world) a significant increase in the rates of violence against women in Iraq in horrific forms and images. With the increasing isolation that women and girls suffer from, the risk of violence and exposure to it has increased, and if violence against women and girls is not put to an end and their human rights are protected, we cannot achieve justice and the sustainable development goals.
On November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, we are still continuing the struggle for change and this was reflected in the capabilities of Iraqi women through their distinguished participation as candidates in the early October elections of this year, which ended with the victory of 96 women and their access to the Iraqi parliament, which is an evidence of the capabilities and the creative energies through which women can play a role in construction and development; and we as defenders will not stop until we put an end to violence so that all women and girls can enjoy dignity and safety, in a society free from fear, threats and murder.
On this occasion, it is necessary to end the violence suffered by women and girls, which is one of the most serious violations of human rights, by ending impunity, providing basic services to protect survivors and victims, changing wrong traditions and social norms, and working to follow up on the implementation of the recommendations of the CEDAW Committee to the Government of Iraq by directing the concerned sectors, including the Department of Women’s Empowerment and the institutions of the Ministry of Interior Affairs (the Directorate of Family Protection and Community Police), Justice, Health and Social Sectors, and allocating sufficient budgets to finance services provided in the field of women’s rights.
We in the Iraqi Women’s League call for mobilizing the efforts to advocating and defending in order to address the problems that hinder women’s advancement, create opportunities for women in the labor market, pay attention to girls’ right to education, and mitigate the risks that affect widowed, divorced, elderly, disabled, survivors, refugees women and victims of humanity crises, empowering women economically and increasing their participation in building a brighter future and free of violence against women and girls.
Iraqi Women’s League
November 25, 2021