Women’s rights activists met at the U.N. headquarters in New York to address the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women. The group issued a signed statement, declaring “Heads of state must go on record to all the world about how they will take leadership in making violence against women in daily life unacceptable.”
Activists testified that governments do not enforce laws that prohibit violence against women, and that judges often dismiss the cases and blame the victim. Sheila Dauer of Amnesty International said that in some countries police have looked on while women were being attacked, and sometimes assaulted the women themselves.
Members of the panel discussed crimes against women during the wars in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia, and the current violations of women’s human rights by the Taliban militia group in Afghanistan.
Participants included members from Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the International Federation of Women Lawyers, Rutgers University’s Center for Women’s Global Leadership and a group that is lobbying for an International Criminal Court.