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09.12.2001 | D. Groysman, Vinnitsa

‘Amnesty International’ on women’s rights

   

A special issue of news published by ‘Amnesty International’ is devoted to the observation of women’s rights. This issue was published to the International Women’s Day (8 March). The issue begins with a story about an11-year-old Sudanese girl, who was raped by an officer of the Sudanese police in the precinct with three other officers present. The story contains irrefutable proofs that the girl was really raped, but there is no hope that the guilty will be called to criminal responsibility.

‘The state of women throughout the world contrasts much with the common rhetoric of the international community’, the report of the ‘Amnesty International’ says. Unsuccessful attempts to protect women’s rights testifies that ‘governments of many countries lack political will for the real improvement of the state of women’, the report states. Many women are beaten to death, are burned alive, are circumcised, raped, or sold to slavery. On the threshold of the 21st century millions of women in all the world remain the people of the second sort who are treated with discrimination in the name of religion, traditions or culture. So, in Pakistan hundreds of women become victims of ‘murders in the name of honor’ every year. Although such practices are outlawed, but practically it remains a rather frequent phenomenon. In the opinion of human rights protection organizations this is a remnant of the prejudiced attitude of the Pakistan authorities to women, that is why the authorities are so lax in their fight with this terrible crime.

The risk of violating women’s rights grows especially during armed conflicts in the camps of refugees and displaced persons. Here humiliation of women is regularly observed.

‘Amnesty International’, listing a few achievements in the protection of women’s rights mentions the agreement on creating the International Criminal Code, where raping and other forms of sexual molesting is considered as a crime against humanity and war crime in the cases when it happens during international or regional armed conflicts. Another important step in protecting women’s rights, by the opinion of ‘Amnesty International’, is the adoption of the auxiliary Protocol–1999 to the ‘International Convention on stopping all forms of discrimination towards women’. This Protocol grants women the right to hand complaints against governments, which do not fulfil their obligations worded in Women’s Convention. Up to now this auxiliary Protocol has been ratified by 23 member-states. ‘Amnesty International’ appeals to ratify the Women’s Convention, which by now has not been ratified by 165 UNO member-countries.

When one reads the report of ‘Amnesty International’, one can imagine that in Ukraine the situation with women’s rights is satisfactory. Unfortunately, it is not so. Our country remains one of the main sources of sexual slaves to black markets of Europe and Asia, hundreds of women die every year from criminal abortions, violence in the family became a Ukrainian national tradition, and the raping of gypsy women is quite regular. So, the way to creating the respectful attitude to Ukrainian women promises to be long and hard.

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