The End of Violence against Women

Mexico, Mexico City, 26 and 27 June 2014


Day by day we witness the violation of the fundamental rights of women in the world, the most direct attack to the life and health of half the population. The violence is directed against women by the very fact of being women, for being considered by their aggressors as lacking the most basic rights of citizenship, freedom, respect and ability to make decisions.

Ending violence against women is difficult because of the prevailing machismo culture, the social and political recognition of the dominance of men, the position of women within the private sphere, along with women being considered elements of legitimacy within family relationships. This deeply ideological position makes it very difficult for States and public authorities to take clear positions against gender violence in any form. Therefore a policy decision of the first magnitude is necessary to find a solution.

Various international declarations and agreements raise gender violence as a serious violation of human rights and suggest the need for policies to combat it. From the United Nations, the World Bank to the European Union, all raise the need for governments to intervene holistically.

Gender violence also limits economic, social and democratic development of societies, and yet occurs in all countries, whatever their stage of development. The data offered year after year should be the starting point for global action to become a reality: At least one in three women have been beaten, coerced into sex or suffered other abuse in their lifetime, according to UN Women.

When we take action against violence we are working on behalf of all women as potential victims of it, but also when we move forward in improving the living conditions and equality of all women we are working to end gender violence. Thereby with this we commit to the development and welfare of the entire population.

The cases of violation in India and that of the girls kidnapped in Nigeria within the last year have triggered world talks about this terrible reality, which is none other than violence against women, and which manifests itself in multiple forms, from domestic violence, to sexual violence, rape and abuse, including trafficking in women and girls for sexual exploitation.

Therefore, the Socialist International Women (SIW) calls on governments and member parties of the Socialist International, as well as NGOs with similar principles to SIW to:

Demand that world governments take all the necessary reforms to start work on the path to equality of men and women, as well as the elimination of violence against women in their countries, by fulfilling their responsibility as a state adhering to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and that those countries that have not yet signed the Protocol to empower the United Nations to examine individual complaints, do so;

Work to end violence against women and its various manifestations; forced marriages, human trafficking, including sexual abuse against minors and demand the right to a life free of violence with the involvement of the government at all levels;

Adopt measures to eradicate political violence based on gender, defined by the UN as actions, behaviours and/or attacks of any kind, committed by one or more persons against women candidates, elected, appointed or engaged in the political-public, or against their family, to shorten, suspend, restrict or prevent the exercise of her office or to induce or force her to do, against her will, an action or omission in the performance of her duties or in the exercise of her rights within her political organisations;

Urge the United Nations Security Council to seek effective strategies to eradicate all forms of violence against women in armed conflict, holding governments responsible of the correct implementation of the international agreements on such strategies;

Support public authorities so they work to implement the principle of equality and remove barriers to women's access to a dignified life, according to the preferences the women themselves choose in a free and autonomous way. This should be a collective effort, involving both men and women and should be a priority of the international community;

Acknowledge civil society organisations, which are demanding justice and equality in all countries of the world, as essential participants involved in the process toward gender equality;

Demand and support the United Nations commitment to advancing the rights of women and that the fight against gender violence becomes a priority in its action and

Urge governments to develop legislation to combat gender-based violence from a holistic point of view, laws establishing measures in the field of prevention, but that also strongly condemns the perpetrators of violence, in education, in the awareness in social services, in the health sector, in advertising, in legal and police operatives, in definite legislation covering all areas and that respond globally to the situation that millions of women suffer.

We further urge that governments and the international community move towards educational, social and legislative instruments to eradicate the purchase of sexual services, since it is an element that currently promotes trafficking and the trafficking for sexual exploitation.

Finally, the Socialist International Women calls on all people, progressive parties, leaders, and media around the world to support the SIW international campaign on ending violence against women that was launched in conjunction with the Socialist International and the countless campaigns in support of the girls kidnapped in Nigeria, this terrible attack should serve to strengthen the international commitment against Trafficking in Human Beings for Sexual Exploitation.





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The First Hundred Years

A Short History of Socialist International Women

By Irmtraut Karlsson

This book tells the history of the first one hundred years of the Socialist International Women