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Dialogues needed to tackle violence against women in Sudan: UN expert

Dialogues needed to tackle violence against women in Sudan: UN expert

India Blooms News Service | | 28 May 2015, 08:59 am
New York, May 28 (IBNS): More open and constructive dialogues should be held among Sudanese stakeholders as a top priority to address ‘the silence and the denials’ of crimes against women, a United Nations human rights expert concluded after her recent mission to the country.

“The silence and the denials, whether by State authorities or many civil society participants, regarding the subject of violence as experienced by women, is a source of concern,” Rashida Manjoo, the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women, said in a news release which covered the events of her 12-day visit to Sudan.

Reports and interviews demonstrate that women and girls in Sudan live in deep inequality, underdevelopment, poverty, and sometimes hostile environment. Not only does this happen in public and private spheres, but it also exists in both conflict and non-conflict zones, according to Manjoo’s end-of-mission statement.

Of particular concern, she said, was female genital mutilation and early marriages.

“Traditional, cultural and social norms,” Manjoo explained, “prevent disclosure and the seeking of assistance from persons outside of the family unit.” She therefore called on the focus on reconciliation with accountability, for crimes against women and girls.

In addition to physical, psychological and economic violence, women and girl asylum seekers and refugees also suffer from sexual humiliations during trafficking. Being insecure in conflicts has rendered them vulnerable to such violence.

Apart from above manifestations, challenges remain in legal measures. “Violence also occurs as a consequence of “the discriminatory interpretation and implementation of provisions of some laws,” noted Manjoo.

Efforts have been made at policy and institutional levels, the UN rights expert said, while noting a clamping down on non-governmental organizations (NGOs), with women’s rights organizations in particular.

“The issue of access to justice and of justice itself, for crimes experienced by women and girls, requires attention,” highlighted the expert, “especially through addressing the accountability deficit that seems to be the norm in Sudan for gendered crimes.”

Manjoo urged the Government of Sudan and stakeholders, especially with the international community and the UN, to find common ground in constructively engaging and addressing the tensions that exist in the people living in Sudan.

“Holding accountable State authorities who perpetrate violence is also an imperative in the current context,” stressed the Special Rapporteur, calling on the Government to establish a Commission of Inquiry which includes national and international experts to investigate allegations of mass rapes in different regions.

Independent experts or special rapporteurs are appointed by the Geneva-based Human Rights Council to examine and report back on a country situation or a specific human rights theme. The positions are honorary and the experts are not UN staff, nor are they paid for their work.

Photo: UNHCR/Helen Caux

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Erdogan's Turkey turns Hagia Sophia into a mosque again; UNESCO regrets #HagiaSophia, #Turkey, #Istanbul, #HagiaSophiaMosqueAgain Istanbul/IBNS: Hagia Sophia, Turkey's iconic monument, a UNESCO World Heritage and one of the central attractions of its capital Istanbul, is no longer a museum. It has been turned back as a mosque though some 1500 years ago it was built as an Orthodox Christian cathedral. Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque during the Ottoman time in 1453 while under Ataturk it was turned into a museum in 1935. The decision comes amid a growing rise of the Islamists in Turkey who had been demanding that it be restored as a mosque though Opposition leaders with secular credentials had been against the move. A top court in Turkey ruled that turning it into a museum in 1935 by modern Turkey's secular architect Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was illegal, paving the way for present Turkey president Recep Tayyip Erdogan to declare it as a mosque again and to open it for Muslim prayers. Erdogan made the announcement an hour after the court ruled the conversion to museum in 1935 as illegal and scrapped its status. "May it be beneficial," posted Erdogan on Twitter, sharing an official document on the change with his signature. UNESCO regrets In an immediate reaction, UNESCO said it "deeply regrets" the decision. UNESCO said it was "regrettable that the Turkish decision was not the subject of dialog nor notification beforehand". "UNESCO calls on the Turkish authorities to open a dialog without delay in order to avoid a step back from the universal value of this exceptional heritage whose preservation will be reviewed by the World Heritage Committee in its next session," the United Nation's cultural body said in a statement. Istanbul icon of beauty and wonderment According to Turkey's official tourism website, Hagia Sophia is a remarkable achievement in the history of architecture. and a living proof of mankind's revolt against the laws of physics and it calls it a monument whose importance transcends borders. It is one of UNESCO's World Cultural Heritage sites attracting millions of visitors across the world with its majestic grandeur

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Erdogan's Turkey turns Hagia Sophia into a mosque again 11 Jul 2020, 01:37 pm