Gender violence in Iraq threatens to undermine families and society, UN warns

26 November 2008

The top United Nations official in Iraq has called for the urgent establishment of a national legal framework guaranteeing the protection of women, warning that continued gender violence threatens to undermine the country’s families and society.

“The situation of women in some parts of the country after years of conflict is very unsatisfactory,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Representative Staffan de Mistura said in a message issued to mark the International Day on the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

“Women and girls are paying a disproportionate price for violence. Some are suffering widowhood, targeted violence, discrimination and repression, lack of access to education and health care and increased violence at home,” said Mr. de Mistura.

He added that he hoped the occasion would serve to draw an agenda of concrete measures and further a common awareness regarding the advancement of protection of women’s rights in all areas of Iraqi society.

UNAMI would like to urge the support of all law enforcing agencies to redress the current climate of impunity by prioritizing the resolution of cases of violence against women and bringing those responsible to justice,” he said, referring to the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq.


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