Women’s rights are under the threat?

Today at a press-conference in Kyiv representatives of the Ukrainian Association of the International Amnesty (UAIA) expressed their anxiety caused by the position of the Ukrainian government regarding the problem of violence against women.

Attempts of the UAIA to learn “with what the Ukrainian delegation will go to the 49th Session of the UNO Commission regarding the status of women and whether it will go there at all” failed. One couldn’t receive a response from governmental structures, and in the Presidential chancellery they stated that the position of the Ukrainian delegation is secret. It’s interesting why?

The delegates, evidently, didn’t want to reveal the secret even during the session and, most likely, didn’t go there. Or maybe they did, but didn’t let their position out. At least, the participants of the press-conference said that in the materials of the session they couldn’t find any speech of Ukraine’s representatives.

However, the Session of the UNO Commission, the results of which the International Amnesty considers to be the key ones in the issues of keeping to and protection of women’s rights, took place even without active participation of the Ukrainian delegates.

According to the UAIA representatives, the work of the Session was concentrated on a few most important questions: whether the world’s governments reached any progress in implementation of the Peking Declaration and the Platform for Actions (the most important documents regarding the defense of women’s rights adopted by the Fourth World Women conference of the UNO which took place in Peking in September, 1995); adopting the Political declaration of the 49th session; adopting the resolution for preventing women traffic, about feminization of poverty and increasing women’s role and also about establishing a post of the Special speaker on discrimination laws regarding women.

The UAIA representatives are alarmed by the fact that in the Declaration of the 49th session nothing is stated about the protection of women’s rights. In their opinion, implementation of the Peking Declaration, the Platform for Actions and the Women’s convention of the UNO is to be mutually reinforced by the realization of women’s rights, gender equality and women’s authorities.

Also during the 49th Session the delegation of the International Amnesty presented a report “Influence of weapon on women’s life”.

“Women much more often become victims of some types of crimes due to their gender, particularly, home violence or rape. In addition, in view of the fact that women almost never buy, possess or use fire-arms, they suffer from armed violence disproportionately frequently. It is often stated that weapon is necessary for protection of women and their families, but in fact the situation is diametrically opposite. Women don’t want weapon to take place in their life” – informed Denis Searle, head of the public relations department of the International Amnesty.

On March 7 in Johannesburg a press-conference took place, where the delegates of the campaigns “Stop the violence against women” and “Weapon – under control!” presented the main provisions of the report.

In the report “Influence of weapon on women’s life” examples of the most dangerous situations are considered at length, connected with armed violence against women in family, society and also during the armed conflict and in the after-conflict period. In the report a range of measures are considered, used by states to control weapon, owing to different campaigns of women directed against the spread of armed violence.

The representatives of the UAIA pointed out some positive changes in the Ukrainian society regarding the realization of women’s rights. Particularly, establishing at the Cabinet of Ministers a Coordination council on gender issues, ratification by Ukraine of all facultative protocols to the UNO Convention against discrimination, adoption of the law about prevention of home violence.

The participants of the press-conference appealed representatives of the Ukrainian government and public activists to sign the Global petition against violence and prove by it that human rights protection is really a priority of the new government.

Olena Holiuk,


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