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International Women's Day - 2020



The world today celebrates International Women's Day, the United Nations International Women's Day in 1977, with the aim of drawing the world's attention to the issue of women, where women's struggles around the world for their human, civil, political and economic rights are celebrated. Despite all the efforts of the United Nations and its specialized agencies on women, and all the efforts of governments and hundreds of thousands of voluntary national, regional and international organizations, reports continue to indicate that violations of Women's rights are the most widespread in the world, largely due to impunity for violence and crimes against women. The horrific stories of violations of the rights of women and girls are persistent and continue to be told at all times and places, across continents, civilizations and cultures.

The theme of this year's celebration is "I am the generation of equality: the realization of women's rights." This theme is in line with the United Nations women's multi-generational campaign, the "generation of equality", to be held in the country. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the most progressive road map for the empowerment of women and girls around the world.

We emphasize that, despite the progress made over the past 100 years, many challenges still face women and girls hindering the achievement of full and effective equality, peace-building and sustainable development. In the field of decision-making, women's political participation is improving year after year. According to the Inter-Parliamentary Union, in 2018, women made up 25% of the world's deputies, a qualitative shift over the past 10 years, with only 13.1% of female parliamentarians in 2000. Sabha has not yet reached the desired gender balance in political action, especially since women hold high political positions such as the head of state or the head of government only in less than 10 percent of the countries of the world, and in the countries of the Middle East and North Africa, the proportion of women who have won parliamentary seats during the 2010 11.7%, up from only 3.4% in 1995.

It is no longer acceptable to consider violence against women and girls as a private issue, but rather a public affair. It is no longer acceptable to invoke cultural and social constraints to justify these gross and devastating human rights violations. Hence it is necessary to use all means to protect women and girls from all forms of violence, whether in private or public space. In a parallel context, women's participation in the economic field is a priority for more sustainable development paths. 

Last year, we celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, which was ratified and joined by a total of 189 countries, while 113 countries ratified and joined the optional protocol, which gives women, individually and collectively, the right to file complaints concerning issues directly violating their rights to the UN Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination against Women after the exhaustion of national appeals, it is possible to request an investigation.

While the Geneva Institute for Human Rights welcomes the fact that all countries in the Middle East and North Africa region except Sudan and Somalia have ratified the said convention, it hopes that the countries of the region will follow suit when dealing with the above protocol, so far only three Arab countries Libya, Tunisia and Palestine.  It is anticipated that a number of countries around the world will withdraw their reservations on some of the provisions of the convention, due to the conflict of many of these reservations with the objective and purpose of the agreement.

The celebration of International Women's Day this year comes as part of preparations for the 20th anniversary of Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Security and Peace, which recognized the effects of wars on women and emphasized the importance of their role in building peace, which was reinforced by a number of complementary resolutions, the most recent of which was the resolution 2493 (2019). 

On this day, we stress the importance of adopting the women's agenda, security and peace as a standard framework for women's rights, through the adoption of national action plans for the implementation of Resolution 1325 in addition to taking all measures to implement it on the ground.


The Geneva Institute for Human Rights praises the 'highlight' initiative launched by the United Nations and the European Union, which focuses on eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls, and puts it in the spotlight and puts it at the forefront of efforts to achieve gender equality and women's empowerment In line with the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. The Geneva Institute for Human Rights continues to work this year also with all partners around the world, with the aim of empowering women and raising awareness of women's human rights issues. Much more needs to be done to eliminate gender discrimination, especially with new threats emerging in recent years, such as climate change, widespread food insecurity, terrorism and the global financial crisis.

At the Geneva Institute for Human Rights, we congratulate the women of the world today, salute their efforts, as well as recognize their struggle in every part of the world. In particular, we applaud the women and girls of the Middle East and North Africa for their sacrifices and their struggle for freedom and dignity.  

We call on women, as well as the rest of the world,  to keep the promise of an end to violence against them, by joining our voice and efforts for the Campaign. Working together, as a strong unit will encourage a multilateral action to realise the human rights of all women and girls. 

In 2020, we can only call for a holistic approach that recognizes and acknowledges the interdependence and inequality of women's human rights and recognizes them for all groups of women and girls, including citizens of cities and rural areas, refugees, domestic workers and women with disabilities. 

Through its various programmes, activities and projects, the Geneva Institute for Human Rights affirms its commitment to women's issues around the world with a special focus on the Middle East and North Africa, a region where women continue to suffer from total inequality and discrimination, based on sex, which makes them subject to many forms of horrific and persistent violations.

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