Below are remarks by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon about the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Following them is a news story filed by the Kuwait News Agency, which reports on a sobering speech given by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, in which she includes remarks on the story of 14-year-old Pakistani Malala Yousufzai.
“Millions of women and girls around the world are assaulted, beaten, raped, mutilated or even murdered in what constitutes appalling violations of their human rights. […] We must fundamentally challenge the culture of discrimination that allows violence to continue. On this International Day, I call on all governments to make good on their pledges to end all forms of violence against women and girls in all parts of the world, and I urge all people to support this important goal.”
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
The Malala Effect in the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women
GENEVA, Nov 25 (KUNA) — The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said Saturday on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on 25 November that “Ensuring women’s and girls’ rights, eliminating discrimination and achieving gender equality lie at the heart of the international human rights system, starting with article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states unequivocally: ‘All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
‘ On 9 October, 64 years after those famous words were written, 14-year-old Malala Yousufzai was shot in the head and the neck on her way back from school in the town of Mingora in Pakistan. The shocking attack by the group commonly referred to as the Pakistani Taliban was followed by a public statement in which they threatened to kill anyone else, including women and children, holding views they disagree with.
“Malala was targeted for her prominent role in promoting the fundamental right of education for girls and for criticizing the Taliban for actions such as destroying girls’ schools and threatening to kill girls who attend them. The fact that they tried to do just that to her brought into sharp focus the extreme intolerance and physical danger facing many girls who try to exercise their basic human right to education in many other countries.
“The sad truth is that Malala’s case is not an exceptional one and, had she been less prominent, her attempted murder might have passed more or less unnoticed. Despite all the advances in women’s rights around the world, violence against girls and women remains one of the most common human rights abuses – and the assault on their fundamental right to education continues in many countries. Often, as in Malala’s case, the two phenomena are closely related.
“In Pakistan’s neighbour, Afghanistan, for example, the situation has been chronic for much of the past three decades. During the country’s various evolving and overlapping conflicts, girls’ education ground to an almost complete halt. Since the Taliban were removed from power in 2001, they have reverted to guerrilla tactics which have included – as a matter of policy — attacks on girls and women, especially in relation to their attempts to receive education.
To read the full article, please click here: http://www.kuna.net.kw/ArticleDetails.aspx?id=2276663&language=en
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