ONU/ECOSOC - Actualités/Evénements
News from United Nations Headquarters, NYC
Gender Violence Protection Threatened as Financing Declines and Authoritarianism Increases Worldwide.
According to the UN Human Rights Council, "The corrosion of women's human rights is a litmus test for the human rights standards of the whole society."
- A December 2019 New York Times article linked decreasing gender violence protection with a global increase in Authoritarianism. It cited Spain's far-right Vox party hoping to repeal a law protecting women from violence claiming unfairness to men, with additional examples from Turkey, Russia, Hungary and China.
- A 2016 study on gender-based violence requested by the European Commission (Special Eurobarometer 449) found, in some areas, nearly one in four Europeans still consider rape acceptable in cases involving suggestive clothing, intoxication, or even walking alone at night. See the chart here: https://www.statista.com/chart/6999/many-europeans-consider-rape-acceptable/
- Only 0.1% of global humanitarian funding addresses violence against women & girls (VAWG). According to IRC and VOICE, from 2016-2018 less than $2 of $41.5 billion in humanitarian aid was allocated to each woman or girl at risk of rape or abuse in conflict zones. One in five women who leave their home will experience added risk for sexual violence, and 90% of countries with high rates of child marriage are engaged in conflict. For the past 3 years, 2/3 of funding requests for gender-based violence programs were not honored, while no funding was approved at all in the Central African Republic where rape as a weapon of war continues. Feminist foreign aid policies in Sweden, France & Canada pledge funds specifically for gender equality, but these countries are the exceptions. For now, not one country worldwide will reach gender equality by 2030, as set forth in the United Nations Agenda for Sustainable Development.
- 119 countries have laws against domestic violence and 125 countries have laws against sexual harassment. However, in order for laws to work, implementation is key. When minimal resources exist for women who may be economically dependent on their intimate partner, they are less likely to report violence. Less than half of women who experience violence will seek help, even from close friends, with less than 10% reporting it to the police. Worldwide, 35% of women experience physical or sexual violence (gender based violence/ GBV) at some point in their lives, most often from an intimate partner, with rates up to 50-60% recorded in Africa and Oceania. Psychological violence is most prevalent in Latin America, the Caribbean, Oceania and developed countries, reaching 40%. In Central America, 2 in 3 women are killed because of their gender (femicide), assassinated by a partner or former partner 50% of the time. Wife beating is most common in Africa, Asia and Oceania, but occurs worldwide. In Africa and the Middle East, 125 million women and girls have undergone female genital mutilation (FGM). The United Nations works with many organizations including UNDP, UN Women, and UNFPA to address gender based violence (GBV) around the world.
2015 UN Agenda for Sustainable Development within 15 Years
We should all familiarize ourselves with the international goals set in 2015 when every Member of the United Nations agreed to an 'Agenda for Sustainable Development', a blueprint to achieve dignity, peace, and a prosperous global sustainable future by the year 2030. The Agenda's seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) underscore the work of the United Nations and serve as strategic guidelines for civil society, the private sector, and governments. More information can be found at https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/
(click the upper right corner for your language)
The 17 Sustainable Development goals include:
5- Gender Equality
8- Work & Economic Growth
9- Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure
10- Economic Inequality & Migrants' Rights
11- Sustainable Cities
12- Sustainable Consumption & Production patterns
13- Climate Change
14- Life below Water: Conservation & Sustainability
15- Life on Land: Conservation & Sustainability
16- Peace & Justice
17- Global Partnerships for Sustainable Development
UN To Address Affordable Housing and Homelessness
The annual UN Commission for Social Development will be held from February 10-19, 2020 in New York. The theme this year is "Affordable Housing and Social Protection Systems For All to Address Homelessness". According to the UN Secretary General's preparatory report, housing is now the single largest household expense, housing has become less affordable, and homeownership is increasingly difficult to obtain for those 20-34 years old. According to Oxfam, the top 1% now control 46% of the world's wealth. Homelessness is the most visible sign of economic and social inequality - a worldwide problem in both developing & developed countries. Homelessness is also fueled by domestic violence, climate change, and conflict. Strategies to address homelessness include providing affordable housing and social protection. Members of the UN must ensure access for all to adequate, safe & affordable housing, basic services, and work to upgrade slums.
UN Measures Women's Rights Progress Over the Past 25 Years
The United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) will hold its 64th session from March 9-20, 2020, in New York. This marks the 25th anniversary of the 4th World Conference for Women, which was held in Beijing and produced The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BPfA) outlining '12 Critical Areas' of concern in women's rights. CSW64 sessions will review the past 25 years under BPfA, address current challenges, and link them with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Numerous studies agree that gains for women's rights over the past 25 years face serious threats, and women and girls are still not adequately protected from violence worldwide. For more information, the following links are in Spanish, French or English (choose your language in the upper right)
Beijing Platform for Action: '12 Critical Areas' involving women where action is needed to create a more equal world for women, men, girls and boys:
1 - Women and Poverty
2 - Education & Training of Women
3 - Women and Health
4 - Violence Against Women
5 - Women and Armed Conflict
6 - Women and the Economy
7 - Women in Power & Decision Making
8 - Institutional Mechanisms
9 - Human Rights of Women
10 - Women and the Media
11 - Women and the Environment
12 - The Girl Child
UN Resolution on Child Poverty, Labor, and Children Without Parental Care
In November 2019, the UN General Assembly's Third Committee adopted its annual resolution on the Rights of the Child. UN Members agreed to improve situations for children living in poverty, to immediately prohibit the worst forms of child labor, and to end child labor overall by 2025. Governments also discussed assistance for the world's millions of Children Without Parental Care, one of the most vulnerable populations globally. Causes include insufficient care options and lack of support for families at risk. UN Members committed to investing in programs and training authorities who work with children using the 2010 UNICEF Guidelines for the Alternative Care for Children. Governments acknowledged the need for improved data collection to inform policies & programs for these children, and recognized multiple options for individualized care in order to avoid institutionalization while keeping the family unit intact whenever possible. Government implementation will be key for this new agreement to truly protect the rights of Children Without Parental Care around the world.
Link to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child https://www.unicef.org/child-rights-convention
Link to 2010 UNICEF Guidelines for the Alternative Care for Children (https://www.unicef.org/protection/alternative_care_Guidelines-English.pdf)
more info https://bettercarenetwork.org/sites/default/files/Open%20Letter%20-
more info https://www.un.org/press/en/2019/gashc4284.doc.htm
more info https://www.childrightsconnect.org/event/child-rights-now/
By Jill Marie Sen