Image Grab: unwomen.org
This year’s annual UN Commission on the Status of Women has been more emotive since a Pakistani schoolgirl was fatally injured by the Taliban and a medical student was gang-raped in Delhi, India. But three countries are being blamed for not helping the commission to create stricter global laws to prevent violence against women.
Iran, Russia and the Vatican, already notorious for their treatment with women, are resisting changes in tougher regulations being adopted to prevent criminal acts against women in the world. The three countries are making efforts to wipe out language in a draft communiqué that says ‘religion, customs or traditions can no longer be used as an excuse to avoid government’s obligation to prevent violence against women’.
References to rape committed by a husband or partner and abortion rights were also opposed by the three countries. The Vatican and Iran are widely known for their conservative views on women. The emergence of Russia on the list is a bit surprising. It is being said that President Vladimir V. Putin’s anti-feminism might be the possible reason behind the country’s resistance.
The UN Commission on the Status of Women is right when it says that violence against women should be considered as a matter of violation of basic human rights. It has been too long since different people including the clergy itself has taken advantage of selective religious clauses to manipulate women. Many crimes are not even reported in the Vatican or Iran because it ‘scars’ the religious image of the country. History is full of examples where traditions, customs and religion have been used as tools to undermine and suppress women. It’s high time that these three countries must understand the weakness in their laws and made an effort to improve the sorry state of women in their country.