Bachelet: Women’s participation forging peace worldwide, ‘vastly worse’ post pandemic

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With COVID-19, the concern for women quality rights defenders and the prospects for women's afloat information successful gathering peace, has go “vastly worse”, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said connected Tuesday.

Michelle Bachelet was participating successful a Security Council debate dedicated to the taxable “Protecting Participation: Addressing unit targeting women successful bid and information processes”. 

The quality rights main drove location that, betwixt 1992 and 2019, only 13 per cent of negotiators, 6 per cent of mediators and 6 per cent of signatories in large bid processes worldwide, were women.

In presumption of support, barely 1 per cent of backing successful fragile oregon conflict-affected countries goes to women's rights organizations. 

“And that was earlier the pandemic struck – and earlier a question of intensifying conflicts, undemocratic governmental transitions and disastrous humanitarian crises took clasp successful galore societies, further reducing women's rights”, she said. 

Monitoring violations

In 2020, the High Commissioner’s Office (OHCHR) verified 35 killings of women quality rights defenders, journalists and commercialized unionists successful 7 conflict-affected countries. The number, which is surely an undercount, surpassed the confirmed numbers of killings successful 2018 and 2019. 

OHCHR person besides documented patterns of attacks against women moving connected sex equality; intersexual and reproductive wellness and rights issues; corruption, labour rights and biology and onshore disputes.

According to Ms. Bachelet, successful each region, women person been subjected to arrests and detention; intimidation, intersexual violence, and harassment via smear campaigns.

Intimidation and reprisalsby State and non-State actors against radical who cooperate with the UN, besides stay high, she said, including successful countries which are connected the Council's peacekeeping agenda. 

Multiple hotspots

Decisions connected bid that bash not bespeak women's voices, realities and rights are not sustainable. Addressing discrimination, inequality, denials of women's civic abstraction and gender-based unit indispensable beryllium a precedence for gathering peace.

— Michelle Bachelet (@mbachelet) January 18, 2022

The High Commissioner past highlighted the concern successful Afghanistan, Africa’s Sahel region, Myanmar and elsewhere, saying violations of women's rights “significantly undermine planetary efforts to forestall struggle and prolong peace.”

In Afghanistan, she pointed to a “humanitarian catastrophe of unprecedented proportions”, arguing that the “denial of the cardinal rights of women and girls is massively damaging the system and the state arsenic a whole.”

In caller months, galore Afghan women quality rights defenders, journalists, lawyers and judges person been forced to fly oregon to spell into hiding, often aft repeated threats.

Many person mislaid each sources of income. They person besides been excluded from decision-making that affects their lives and prevented from afloat exercising their rights. 

Ms. Bachelet urged the Security Council to guarantee that the perpetrators of these violations are held accountable. She besides asked Council members to usage their power with the Taliban to promote respect for cardinal quality rights. 

Sahel, Myanmar and Colombia

In the Sahel region, the High Commissioner remembered that respective countries are astatine the precise bottommost of UNDP's Gender Equality Index.

She described a script wherever highly convulsive equipped radical attacks summation the menace of abductions, violence, exploitation and maltreatment of women and girls, arsenic good arsenic section closures of schools. 

Despite these obstacles, Ms. Bachelet said she felt encouraged during a caller mission, wherever she heard elder members of the G5 Sahel associated forces, moving to extremity coercion and trafficking successful the region, emphasizing the value of accrued integration.

In Myanmar, where, women quality rights defenders person agelong been a unit for bid and inclusivity, she said galore women's civilian nine groups person been forced to unopen down amid the unit that has gripped the state since February past year. 

Women aesculapian workers, media workers, protestors, participants successful civilian disobedience, activists connected societal media and those providing nutrient and structure to radical successful need, person been targeted for battle and arbitrary detention. 

Young radical   instrumentality     portion  successful  a pro-democracy objection  successful  Myanmar.

Young radical instrumentality portion successful a pro-democracy objection successful Myanmar., by Unsplash/Pyae Sone Htun

Of the estimated 10,533 radical detained by the State Administration Council and its affiliated equipped elements betwixt February and November of past year, women and girls fig implicit 2,100. 

In contrast,the human rights main called Colombia's 2016 Peace Agreement “a planetary landmark” in presumption of women's information and the inclusion of gender-specific measures.

She argued, nonetheless, that immoderate gender-specific measures connected issues specified arsenic onshore reform, governmental information and information guarantees should beryllium strengthened.


Describing this “wave” of challenges, the High Commissioner argued that the planetary assemblage indispensable “push backmost against attempts to attack, soundlessness and criminalize women's rights to support rights, enactment successful decision-making and explicit dissenting opinions.”

She besides asked for “clear advocacy” and “significant investment”, stating that “decisions connected bid that bash not bespeak women's voices, realities and rights are not sustainable.”

“The enactment of addressing discrimination, inequality, denials of women's civic abstraction and gender-based unit should besides beryllium viewed arsenic a precedence for gathering peace”, she concluded. 

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