SI UN Representatives Martina Gredler, Marion Prechtl and Christine Peer, together with SI Special Advisor to Advocacy, Linda Witong and SI Club Member Dora Vrdlovec attended the 28th Session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ). The theme of the event was: ‘The responsibility of effective, fair, humane and accountable criminal justice systems in preventing and countering crime motivated by intolerance or discrimination of any kind’. The event was held over 20-24 May and had approximately 120 side events running during the 5 days, two of which Soroptimist International held; ‘Mysogynistoc Hate Crimes’, and ‘Early Child Marriage’. Linda Witong was on the panel at both. Linda’s speech about misogynistic hate crimes gave examples of crimes against women from throughout the female lifespan. Click here to read Dora Vrdlovec’s blog from this side event. The second side event was on early child marriage and Linda spoke about the effects of climate change on migration, trafficking and early marriage. Click here to read Linda’s blog on this subject.
Further to this, SI submitted this written statement to the Commission, which commends those Member States which have begun to address the issue of gender-related homicides through, for example, the establishment of specialist national bodies for the protection and safeguarding of women and girls. The statement calls on Member States to:
- ratify and implement without reservation all international conventions and treaties which directly and indirectly address gender-based violence including femicide, and actively engage in accountability mechanisms contained therein;
- without delay enact or reform legislation to criminalise all forms of gender-based violence including femicide and enforce legislation with appropriate prosecutions of perpetrators;
- reject any differentiation between the public and private sphere as a justification for gender-based violence including femicide;
- ensure that front line responders have adequate resources and training to respond quickly to all incidents of gender- based violence with gender specific compassion, understanding and respect;
- recognise that gender based violence including femicide poses significant financial costs to society and that prevention of violence has real economic benefits;
- invest in initiatives to make public spaces safe, particularly for women and girls;
- adequately fund effective resources and appropriate support services to victim/survivors of violence, including safe shelter, access to legal services, and medical and psychological treatment at no cost to the victim/survivor; recognise that some groups are at particular risk, including migrants, refugees, indigenous women and girls, rural women and girls, women and girls living with disabilities, HIV positive women and girls, women and girls living with mental health challenges, and women and girls facing multiple discriminations (such as sexual orientation and gender identity, race, and ethnicity);
- take all necessary steps to ensure that gender-based violence including femicide is never used as a tool of war, and that women and girls living in conflict affected areas are fully protected;
- address any increased risks of gender-based violence including femicide in areas affected by natural disasters;
- ensure robust systems are in place and utilised to collect reliable data and statistics disaggregated by sex relating to violence including femicide, and ensure that the collection of this data does not endanger women or girls in any way.
SI UN Representative, Christine Peer delivered an oral statement which calls for Member States, the private sector and civil society to address the many factors that radicalise young people and make terrorism an attractive option for them. The oral statement also called for the establishment of early childhood education, and development of primary school curricula that include health and education programmes which address cultures of violence, gender relations and women’s status, masculinity and identity, family violence and gender-based violence.
Additionally, Soroptimist International’s article, ‘Contemporary Enslavement and Trafficking of Women and Girls’ was featured in the newest UN Studies Association publication ‘Femicide, Volume XI’, which was released at the ‘Misogynistic Hate Crimes’ side event. Click here to access the full volume.
Lead image: SI UN Representative Christine Peer with SI Special Advisor to Advocacy, Linda Witong.