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Delegates attending the 57 Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in New York have noted that violence against women and girls are now an urgent problem with a global reach.
Various Governmental delegations addressing the session noted that violence against women poisons and could ultimately disrupt an entire society and called for a consented effort to address it.
Ms Jet Bussemaker, Minister of Education, Culture and Science, Kingdom of the Netherlands, in her submission, noted that governments should endeavour to address and prevent violence constructively and responsibly in tandem with community-based organizations and social workers.
She said: “We cannot tolerate a world in which victims of violence do not dare to talk about what has happened to them for fear of stigmatization, a world in which women cannot hold their heads up high and claim their rights, and in which perpetrators of violence go unpunished.
“Equality between men and women – politically, socially, economically and sexually- is vital to combating violence. We must, therefore, not only work on prevention, but also on increasing the resilience of girls and women and on enhancing the expertise of professionals.
“We in the Netherlands are pleased with the resolution on violence against women as recently adopted by the UN General Assebly, but we cannot combat violence against women with treaties and legislation alone.
“Our societies must also be willing to look at the underlying causes of violence, at the systems that facilitate violence and the factors that contributes to vulnerability among women-particularly migrants, refugees and women in conflict situations.
“Factors such as financial and social dependence, a lack of access to education and forced marriage…I am therefore pleased that the international community is focusing more and more on the underlying causes of violence”.
The Botswana Minister of Labour and Home Affairs, in his contribution, noted that Botswana accorded a very high priority to the fight against gender based violence and violence against women.
He said the government had developed a comprehensive national response to gender based violence with key focus on prevention and mitigation strategies.
The Canadian Minister for Status of Women, Ms Susan Truppe, expressed disgust about the daily news reports of women and girls rights being violated across the globe; “this is unacceptable, women and girls have the right to live free from abuse, acts of violence crimes, serious abuses of power and severe violations of dignity and human rights”.
She pledged Canada’s commitment in ending all forms of violence against women and girls at home, and globally as the government had put in place Canada’s National Action Plan for the Implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution on Women, Peace and Security.
“As we look toward establishing a new global development framework post-2015, Canada urges for the inclusion of gender equality and women’s empowerment in the framework,” she said.
Nana Oye Lithur, Ghana’s Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, also highlighted Ghana’s agenda which sought to promote gender mainstreaming in national development processes, and engender the national budget.
She said the new Ministry had been created by President John Dramani Mahama to coordinate the development, review and implement social development policies to enhance the capacity of communities to identify, plan, and implement sustainable socio-economic activities.
Nana Oye Lithur said Ghana was also promoting the generation of sex disaggregated data to guide interventions, and counsel, guide and refer socially and economically distressed members of the society.