Archive for March 8th, 2013

08/03/2013

Gender Quotas in Europe: Bad for Business or a ‘Necessary Evil’?

Human Wrongs Watch

By EurActiv*, 8 March, 2013 – As Europe marks International Women’s Day, politicians remain divided over a European Commission proposal to impose a 40% quota for women sitting on company boards.

Source: EurActiv

Source: EurActiv

The European Parliament yesterday (7 March) organised a debate on ‘Women’s Responses to the Crisis’.

The event bore significance as European politicians remain divided over a proposal concerning quotas for women on non-executive company boards.

The legislation, proposed in November 2012 by Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding, would apply to publicly traded companies in the 27 member states with more than 250 employees or annual revenues exceeding €50 million. The companies would have until 2020 to comply of face sanctions.

Gender quotas have long divided European opinion. Some politicians and MEPs believe that quotas remain a “necessary evil” to accelerate progress towards a better gender balance on the corporate boards of European companies.

“I used to be against quotas, but we need to reflect reality. And reality is that not merely enough women are in high positions across Europe today. Maybe you could say that it’s a necessary evil,” said Elisabeth Morin-Chartier, chair of the Parliament’s Committee on Women’s Rights and gender Equality.

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08/03/2013

Child Marriages: 39,000… Every Day

Human Wrongs Watch

New York, 7 March 2013 Between 2011 and 2020, more than 140 million girls will become child brides, according to United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). “If current levels of child marriages hold, 14.2 million girls annually or 39,000 daily will marry too young.Furthermore, of the 140 million girls who will marry before the age of 18, 50 million will be under the age of 15.”

Tahani, 8, is seen with her husband Majed, 27, and her former classmate Ghada, 8, and her husband, outside their home in Hajjah, Yemen, 26 July, 2010. Photo Credit: © Stephanie Sinclair/VII/Tooyoungtowed.org | Source: UN WOMEN

“Despite the physical damage and the persistent discrimination to young girls, little progress has been made toward ending the practice of child marriage.”

In fact, the problem threatens to increase with the expanding youth population in the developing world, according to Joint press release by UNFPA, UNICEF, WHO, UN Women, the United Nations Foundation, World Vision, Girls Not Brides, Every Woman Every Child, World YWCA and The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health.*

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08/03/2013

"Unprecedented Feminist Activism in Arab Countries"

Human Wrongs Watch

Amman, 8 March 2013 – Arab women are once again taking a step towards equality, addressing the social and institutional forces that are colluding to exclude women from the process of change and political transition in the Middle East and North of Africa (MENA) region, says the Amman-based Foundation for the Future* (FFF).

Source: Foundation for the Future

Source: Foundation for the Future

“On the occasion of International Women’s Day, we especially honor Arab women’s continuing struggle for freedom and equality, and note that women’s status in the region has not improved in the past year.”

Today, the Foundation for the Future bears witness to an unprecedented feminist activism, one which is united in decisively denouncing patriarchal aggression and demanding full inclusion for women in the emerging democracies.

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08/03/2013

By 2020, More Than 140 Million Girls Will Have Become Child Brides – UN

Human Wrongs Watch

If current child marriage rates continue, more than 140 million girls will become child brides between 2011 and 2020, the United Nations said*, warning that little progress has been made towards ending this harmful practice.

Photo: UNFPA/Stephanie Sinclair

Photo: UNFPA/Stephanie Sinclair

Of these 140 million girls, 50 million will be under the age of 15, according to the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), which added that young girls who marry before the age of 18 have a greater risk of becoming victims of intimate partner violence than those who marry later.

“Child marriage is an appalling violation of human rights and robs girls of their education, health and long-term prospects,” said UNFPA Executive Director Babatunde Osotimehin.

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08/03/2013

Ending Violence Against Women "A Matter of Life and Death"

“Ending violence against women is a matter of life and death,” Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson told the opening of the two-week session of the Commission on the Status of Women on 4 March in New York. “The problem pervades all countries, even in the most stable and developed regions.”

 gathering to promote the rights of girls and education for all in Barrod village of Rajasthan’s Alwar district (2012). Photo: UN Women/Gaganjit Singh Chandok

A gathering to promote the rights of girls and education for all in Barrod village of Rajasthan’s Alwar district (2012). Photo: UN Women/Gaganjit Singh Chandok

“Violence against women pervades war zones as well as stable communities, capitals as well as the countryside, public space as well as the private sphere,” Eliasson said. “Since it is an unacceptable feature of daily life, we have to respond everywhere and on every level.”

According to the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), up to 70 per cent of women in some countries face physical and/or sexual violence in their lifetime.

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