France, Europe, Advisory Group
Carol Mann

Carol Mann

“I am in favor of a globally binding norm on Violence Against Women because despite the by-now considerable corpus of legislative texts regarding women’s rights especially CEDAW, violence remains the dominant feature in the lives of many women today. It is obvious that the law is not enough if nothing is done to implement it as the example of Afghanistan shows on a daily, despairing way. But there again, nationally and internationally recognized legal texts are the necessary starting points for change and (hopefully) slowly filter down, despite the media creating and generalizing violence in a way that discredits anything the CEDAW or any convention may propound. I am personally interested in one category of violence that remains below the radar : that of women going through pregnancy and giving birth in conflict zones. As it is, the extreme suffering of birthing has been completely and universally normalized for millennia. In the most under-developed parts of the world, maternal death is considered part of female destiny. Sad, yes. Tragic no. In war zones, the situation is even worse . Pregnant women are considered collateral damage in every war. and never make the statistics, barely considered worthy material for reports and articles. The fate of pregnant women in Afghanistan, Waziristan, South Sudan, Mali, Niger, Central African Republic, Boko Haram occupied Nigeria, Ukraine, Libya is barely known or even monitored. And here, these women are the victims of highly sophisticated armies, whose weapons have been supplied by the West. It is urgent that this form of violence be recognized and outlawed by international law, on the basis of urgent global norms that render this extreme form of brutality exerted upon women unacceptable.”

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