International Women’s Day: NPWJ calls for enhanced commitment to protect women’s rights

8 Mar, 2020 | Comunicati Stampa

Brussels – Rome, 8 March 2020

On this International Women’s Day, No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) takes this opportunity to remember the too many gaps hindering – at various levels and sometimes in a brutal and cruel manner – the process towards the full recognition and protection of women’s rights as universal human rights.

Despite important steps toward equality, millions of women and girls worldwide are still victims or at risk of violations of their human rights, as both a result and a perpetuation of gender inequality and discrimination that denies them the most basic forms of personal autonomy and self-determination. They are victims of sexual abuse, exploitation and harmful practices such as female genital mutilation and forced marriage. In some countries, they are also victims of rape and violence of all kinds as a weapon of war. In many parts of the world, women who have the courage to fight for their dignity by challenging regressive social conventions are exposed to great personal risks, including social rejection, harassment, imprisonment and even death.

The fight towards full gender equality enshrined in legislation as an essential component of the rule of law is broad: for the right to self-empowerment, the freedom to make informed and autonomous choices about the course of one’s life, one’s sexuality, if and when to have children, whether and when to marry, and all within a context of public policies and structures that allow for real choice. Moreover, unless the legal framework that guarantees full equality between men and women is constantly strengthened, all advances will continue to be attacked, undermined, weakened or revoked.

On this important day when we reaffirm our commitment to stand up for the human rights of women, NPWJ appeal to all States to turn their political commitment into concrete, effective and coordinated policies to address the unique and most pressing challenges women face around the world and to ensure the fulfilment of their human rights. This also means enacting and enforcing legislation unequivocally banning all forms of gender-based violence, protecting its victims and ending impunity.

For further information, please contact Nicola Giovannini, Press & Public Affairs Coordinator, email: