Sexual Violence and the MDGs

Sexual Violence and the MDGs

'The eradication of sexual violence and achieving the MDGs are mutually related. Gender-based violence directly jeopardizes the achievement of the MDGs related to gender equality and the empowerment of women, infant and maternal health and mortality, and combating HIV/AIDS' (UNFPA, 2005).
 
Poverty is proven to be feminizing mostly due to unequal power relations, lacking access to property and productive resources. Hence, violence hampers empowerment and imposes obstacles to full social and economical participation: 'The fear of violence including harassment is a permanent constraint on the mobility of women and limits their access to resources and basic activities.. . . Violence against women is one of the crucial social mechanisms by which women are forced into subordinate positions' (UN Beijng Declaration and Platform for Action, 1995).
 
The last decades the pivotal role of gender equality to reaching the Millennium Development Goals has been recognizes more and more. 'The world is starting to grasp that there is no policy more effective in promoting development, health and education than the empowerment of women and girls'(The Independent, 2006). Since 2004 combating (sexual) violence against women and girls has therefor been one of the most important strategics critical to women's empowerment.
Example of treaties concerned with gender equality and/or female empowerment:
 

  • Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW, 1979) 
  •  Convention on the Elimination of Violence Against Women (1993)
  •  International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) (Cairo, 1994)
  •  Fourth World Conference on Women (Beijing, 1995)
  • African Plan of Action to Accelerate the Implementation of the Dakar and Beijing
  •  Platforms for Action for the Advancement of Women (1999)
  • Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime and its supplemental Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (2000)
  • UN Resolution 1325 on Women Peace and Security (2000)
  • Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (2003)
  • UN Millenium Project (2004)
 

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