The Bahamas Weekly Facebook The Bahamas Weekly Twitter
News : International : Organization of American States (OAS) Last Updated: May 7, 2015 - 7:57:38 AM


Message from the OAS Secretary General on International Women’s Day
By OAS
Mar 8, 2013 - 12:47:46 AM

Email this article
 Printer friendly page
The United Nations has defined the theme for International Women’s Day 2013 as: “A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women,” and has so given us an opportunity to reflect on the advances and challenges in preventing and attending to this dramatic reality. A good way of commemorating this new celebration is perhaps to ask ourselves what has been the impact of the Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Violence against Women (Belém do Pará Convention, 1995), 18 years after its entry into force, and whether or not women have the ability to exercise their right to a life free of violence, as stipulated in the Convention.

At first glace, I would say that the Belém do Pará Convention remains an unfulfilled promise:

- The lack of adequate statistical data on violence against women, its care and punishment, continues to be a significant obstacle to our understanding of the depth of the problem, as well as our ability to address it;

- There remain important gaps in the legal framework on women’s rights, particularly in the lack of recognition and protection of sexual and reproductive rights, which continues to be a deep breach in women’s citizenship;

- Existing legislation on multiple forms of violence – femicide, sexual harassment, rape within and outside the context of marriage, violence against trans persons – is an effective guarantee of neither the rights of the victims nor reparation of the damage done.

It is a matter of both concern and shame that the budget dedicated by Latin America and the Caribbean to preventing or combating violence against women remains extremely small – between .01% and 0.1% of public budgets – while other areas receive much more funding.

The data is chilling and indicates that, however strong our current international and national legal framework, if it is not applied, it has no relevance for women, nor does it support the full exercise of their rights.

We must also recognize however, that thanks to the Belém do Pará Convention, States have incorporated physical, psychological, sexual and economic violence into their national norms. The Convention has provided the basis for the organization of campaigns, the implementation of protocols and care services, the issuing of sentences is cases of domestic violence, rape, harassment and other crimes, and numerous other initiatives and activities.

In 2004, the States Party established the MESECVI – the Follow-up Mechanism to the Belém do Pará Convention, in which 28 States have actively participated, showing a high degree of commitment to the eradication of violence against women. The results of this process include 56 national reports and two Hemispheric Reports on the Implementation of the Belém do Pará Convention, which give us an idea of the advances, obstacles and successes in the fight to eliminate violence against women, as well as providing us with a map of the road to follow.

For all of these reasons, on this International Women’s Day I would like to issue a new call for the intensification of efforts to advance towards the goals that we have set ourselves and the consolidation of what we have already achieved, for the identification and replication of good practices, strengthening coordination between government agencies and civil society, follow-up and evaluation of the effectiveness of laws and national plans, development of capacities in the administration of justice, ensuring the commitment of communication media and allocation of the necessary resources to turn our commitment to women’s rights into a reality and fulfill the promise to eradicate violence against women.

As a signal of our commitment, the OAS has included the MESECVI among its funding priorities, and I urge the Member States and Permanent Observers to support these actions. We must unite our efforts to ensure that, on our continent, promises become reality.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at www.oas.org.

Bookmark and Share


© Copyright 2013 by thebahamasweekly.com

Top of Page

Receive our Top Stories



Preview | Powered by CommandBlast

Organization of American States (OAS)
Latest Headlines
OAS Proposes Mechanisms for Dominican Republic-Haiti Dialogue and Support for Displaced Persons
OAS Deploys Mission to Assess Situation of Haitian Migrants
Peru to Host the 23rd Inter-American Congress of Tourism, Coordinated by the OAS
(Video) Fred Mitchell remarks at OAS General Assembly "Present and Future of The OAS"
The Americas Becomes First Region in the World to Have an Instrument for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Older Persons
OAS, PAHO and International Institutions Join Forces to Tackle the Leading Causes of Death in the Americas
Insulza ensures on departure that OAS “Much stronger than it was when I arrived”
Rahming among those paying tribute to outgoing OAS Secretary General
OAS Presents Report on Evaluation of Drug Policies in the Countries of the Hemisphere
OAS Secretary General Participates in Forum on Advances in Women´s Rights in the Americas
Trinidad and Tobago Assumes Chair of the OAS Permanent Council
OAS Elects New Leadership
Gomez addresses OAS Committee
OAS Member States Highlight the Importance of Alternatives to Incarceration for Drug Related Offenders
Haiti withdraws offer to host OAS XLV General Assembly
Nestor Mendez Takes Office as OAS Assistant Secretary General
OAS and ICSS Organize Conference on Security at Major Sporting Events
OAS to Observe Presidential, Legislative, Municipal and Local Elections in Haiti in 2015
OAS Drug Commission Publishes Report on Alternatives to Incarceration for Drug-Related Offenses
Secretary General Insulza Participated in Roundtable on Alternatives to Incarceration for Drug Users
OAS Permanent Council Received the Report of the Board of External Auditors for 2014
OAS Anti-Drug Commission Opened its Biannual Meeting Highlighting Advances in the Americas
OAS Member States Begin Negotiations on the New Hemispheric Plan of Action on Drugs 2016 - 2020
Trust for the Americas of the OAS Launches “DIA” Initiative to Promote Innovation in Vulnerable Communities
OAS Welcomes the Birth of a New Era of Inter-American Relations
The Organization of American States on Pan American Day and Week
Seventh Summit of the Americas Concludes in Panama
OAS Commends Young Leaders and Entrepreneurs for Advancing Goals of the VII Summit of the Americas: “Prosperity with Equity”
First Plenary Session of the Summit of the Americas Witnessed Historic Presence of Cuba
OAS Adopts Report on Protection of Personal Data to be Used by Countries in the Region as Model Law
“Cyber Security and Critical Infrastructure in the Americas”
OAS Presents Report to the Group of Friends of Haiti on his Visit to Port-au-Prince
45th OAS General Assembly to be held June 15-16 in Washington, DC
OAS Asst. Secretary General opens Inter-American Congress on the Environmental Rule of Law
OAS Begins First Edition of Fellowship on Open Government in the Americas
OAS Secretary General Meets with the President of Haiti
Canada, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Suriname Communicate their Consent to Receive On-Site Visits
Defense of Peace and Democracy through Political Dialogue are Principal Assets of the OAS
OAS Elected the Ambassador of Belize as the next Assistant Secretary General of the Hemispheric Institution
Former Foreign Minister of Uruguay elected as the next OAS Secretary General of the Hemispheric Institution