"Progress on World's Women"
Flagship report from United Nations’ (UN) new organisation for women recognises progress, but calls on governments to take urgent action to end the injustices that keep women poorer and less powerful than men in every country in the world.
At an interview at UN headquarters, head of UN Women Michelle Bachelet said although there has been progress in establishing laws that protect women, the implementation of these laws are "lagging behind."
According to the new report “World’s Women: In Pursuit of Justice” launched today (6 July) 139 countries and territories now guarantee gender equality in their constitutions but too often, women continue to experience injustice, violence and inequality in their home and working lives.
Today, for instance, domestic violence is outlawed in 125 countries but globally 603 million women live in countries where domestic violence is not considered a crime. Similarly, over 2.6 billion women live in countries where martial rape has not been explicitly criminalized.
In the report, UN Women calls on governments repeal laws that discriminate against women, support innovative justice services, put women on the frontline of justice delivery and invest in justice systems that protect women.
Bachelet, who was appointed as the head of the entity earlier this year, said that in countries like the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where there have been recent reports of mass rape, mobile courts have been setup as an effective way to bring “the court to the women.”
Last month, the UN Mission in the country (MONUSCO) helped the High Court of Goma set up a mobile court in Kasindi, a town in Nord-Kivu province, at the border with Uganda.
The mobile court helps to make sure justice is available at the grassroots’ level as well as makes it known to the public that there are judiciary sanctions for every act of sexual violence committed.
Bachelet, the former President of Chile, emphasized the importance of increasing women’s representation in politics and justice systems around the world.
“We also need more female everywhere in the police, in the armed forces but also in the judiciary system because in some places what they have needed is to put more women at the court level so they can be more sensitive to women’s issues,” she added.
In countries like Rwanda, Nepal and Spain, where there have been steep increases in women’s role in politics, progressive laws on women’s rights have often followed says the report. Unfortunately, there are still less than 30 percent of women in parliament in the vast majority of countries.
Bachelet, who also held ministerial portfolios in the Chilean Government as Minister of Defence and Minister of Health, said it is important “to design policies specifically targeted at overcoming” the obstacles women face when trying accessing their rights.
As Defence Minister, Bachelet introduced gender policies intended to improve the conditions of women in the military and police forces and as Minister of Health, she implemented health-care reform, improving attention to primary care facilities with the aim of ensuring better and faster health-care response for families.
Year of Production: 2011
Length: 2 mins
Country: United Nations
- Muhamed Sacirbey (UNTV-UN Women)
- Susan Sacirbey (UNTV-UN Women)