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On the International Women's Day: a promise yet to be honored!

The world celebrated yesterday, March 8th, International Women's Day, which was adopted by the United Nations in 1977 as the international day for women in order to draw the world's attention to the issues related to women, where this day celebrates the struggles of women all over the world for their, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights.

Notwithstanding all the efforts made by the United Nations and its specialized agencies which are concerned with women, in addition to all the efforts made by governments and hundreds of thousands of national, regional and international voluntary organizations, reports still indicate that violations of women's rights are the most prevalent throughout the world, and that cases of impunity are most to be found in relation to crimes committed against women! Terrible stories about violations of women’s rights are still being told everywhere, across continents, civilizations and cultures. According to available statistics, 50 per cent of the cases of sexual abuse are committed against girls under sixteen years of age, about 603 million women live in countries that do not classify domestic violence as a crime, about 70 per cent of women in the world have been subjected to physical or sexual violence at some stage during the course of their lives, and about 60 million of the little girls of the world are married before the age of eighteen.

Such statistics put the world's conscience seriously to the test, as the question arises: where does the world stand in face of all of this? What did it do and what will it do about the suffering of women in all parts of the world? Where have all those international promises to “eliminate all forms of discrimination against women" and "to end violence against women" and others gone? The theme of the celebration of International Women's Day this year was chosen to answer these questions as it came under the title "A promise yet to be honored: It is high time to end violence against women". The aim of this slogan, which revives hope in the hearts of women, is to enhance the commitment of the international community towards putting an end to violence against women. The United Nations has already launched the "Unite" campaign under the guardianship of the Secretary- General, Ban Ki-moon, which calls upon all governments, civil society organizations, women's organizations, men, youth, private sector, media, and all organizations of the United Nations system to join hand to address/confront this global epidemic which comes as "violence against women" by name.

We, at the Geneva Institute for Human Rights, congratulate all women of the world on the occasion of this day, and salute their efforts and their struggle in every corner of the world, calling upon them to hold on to the promise of ending violence against them; we equally support the efforts exerted by “Unite” campaign, and invite everyone to come onboard.

Geneva Institute for Human Rights reaffirms, through its different activities, projects and programs, of which woman get the large share, his commitment to women's issues throughout the world, with particular focus on the Arab and Middle East region, where the state women is still miserable and where appalling stories of abuse are still being told.

Let GIHR not miss, in this day, to salute the struggle of women in the countries of the Arab Spring, where they were and still are an essential part of the popular uprisings which sought to topple down injustice regimes and establish democratic rule instead for the sake of a better future for humanity which is not going to be realized unless women start to enjoy all their rights as represented by the values of freedom, dignity and justice.

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