Monday, March 21, 2005

fwd: re: When Rapist Walk Free

Hi, Thanks to Amelia for sending this to me. Some of the numbers here are
staggering. Note that 60 percept of women in Kazakhstan report that they have
been molested. Certainly the numbers are underreported in some places. Best, RLC

Forwarded Message:
To: Robert Canfield
Subject: re: When Rapist Walk Free
Date: Mar 10, 2005

> Professor Canfield,
> March 4, 2005:
> Women said worse off now than 10 years ago
> Associated Press
> UNITED NATIONS - Many women are worse off today than they were 10 years ago,
> women around the world say in a new report that accuses governments of failing
> to keep their pledge to achieve gender equality.
> Governments worldwide have adopted a "piecemeal and incremental" approach to
> women's rights that cannot achieve the goals in the landmark platform of
> action adopted at a 1995 U.N. conference in Beijing, it says.
> The report is the work of women's rights activists in 150 countries. Compiled
> by the Women's Environment and Development Organization, an international
> advocacy group based in New York, it was released Thursday to coincide with a
> high-level U.N. meeting on implementing the platform.
> The message was clear, starting with the title: "Beijing Betrayed."
> "The women of the world don't need any more words from their governments -
> they want action, they want resources and they want governments to protect and
> advance women's human rights," the report said.
> The women's report sounded very different from the speeches this week at the
> U.N. conference, where governments have been touting their records on women's
> rights.
> "The realities women document often contrast sharply with the officials'
> reports," June Zeitlin, the executive director of Women's Environment and
> Development, said.
> "What we see are powerful trends - growing poverty, inequality, growing
> militarization, and fundamentalist opposition to women's rights," she
> said. "These trends are harming millions of women worldwide."
> "Governments need to respond very strongly to counterbalance these trends and
> push the Beijing platform to further women's rights," Zeitlin said.
> Nonetheless, she said, "there is still some cause for celebration."
> Advocates of women's rights have stepped up their activities around the globe
> and have pressed governments to change some discriminatory laws. The number of
> countries that ratified the 1979 Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of
> Discrimination Against Women rose from 146 a decade ago to 179, though the
> United States has still not done so.
> The goal of giving every girl and boy an elementary school education by 2005
> is likely to be met everywhere but sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, the
> report said.
> But despite these and other gains in the Beijing platform, "and despite a
> decade-worth of efforts ... many women in all regions are actually worse off
> than they were 10 years ago," the report said.
> Violence against women remains an "acute problem" affecting some two-thirds of
> women in relationships worldwide, the report said.
> For example, in Kazakhstan, over 60 percent of women have suffered from
> physical or sexual violence at least once in their lifetime. In the United
> States, 31 percent of women report being sexually abused by a husband or
> boyfriend. And in 2000, 44 percent of married women in Colombia suffered from
> violence inflicted by a male partner, the report said.
> While trafficking of women and children into bonded labor, forced marriage,
> forced prostitution, and domestic servitude has become a global phenomenon,
> governments don't appear to be making significant efforts to combat these
> crimes.
> According to the report, up to 175,000 women from Eastern Europe and the
> former Soviet Union are being lured into the sex industry in Western Europe
> every year, and there has been "a dramatic increase" in the number of Soviet
> bloc women trafficked to North America.
> One goal of the 10-year-old platform was to make reproductive health services
> available to women everywhere. But access and affordability are still
> obstacles, "compounded by cultural and religious fundamentalism," the report
> said. Women and girls also face the highest risk of getting
> HIV/AID, "primarily because of continued patterns of sexual subordination."
> Governments had also pledged to put women in decision-making positions and set
> a target of having 30 percent of government and public administration jobs
> filled by women. But the report said 10 years later "not much" has happened,
> noting that only five countries had reached 30 percent in 1995, 10 in 2000,
> and 15 in 2004.
> The report listed what it called "the dirty dozen" countries that have no
> women in parliament: Bahrain, Kuwait, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, St. Kitts and
> Nevis, Saudi Arabia, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates and
> Guinea-Bissau.
> "Across all regions, women are often still considered unequal to men - in the
> workplace, at home, in government - and assigned roles accordingly," it said.
> The majority of the world's poor are women, and since Beijing "women's
> livelihoods for the most part have worsened, with increasing insecure
> employment and less access to social protection and public services," the
> report said.

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