Jeddah (UNA-OIC) – On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women marked annually on November 25, Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Hissein Brahim Taha, said that the OIC is making every effort to advance women and protect them from all forms of violence, in coordination with member states, relevant organs and institutions of the Organization, and concerned parties in the international community.
The following is the full text of the message delivered by the OIC Secretary-General on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, which was officially adopted by the UN General Assembly on February 7, 2000.
I am pleased to join the international community in commemorating the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. This occasion carries special significance because it provides governments, international organizations and relevant civil society institutions the opportunity to assess progress made in the efforts to eradicate violence against women, and outline measures necessary to move forward in addressing this matter with greater commitment and determination.
The occasion is also an opportunity for OIC member states to renew their determination and cooperation to continue efforts to eliminate violence against women, including domestic violence, which was on the rise across the world because of the outbreak, spread and repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic early 2020. Because of the pandemic, countries around the world had to take stringent precautionary measures, including lockdowns and long home quarantine periods, which negatively affected economic situations around the world and family incomes. This led to increased tension, psychological pressure and growing domestic violence, to such an extent that the phenomenon has been referred to internationally as “the hidden pandemic growing with Covid-19 pandemic.”
On this important international occasion, I appeal to all OIC member states on the necessity of strengthening cooperation and joint action to take necessary measures to protect women. These should include enacting strict laws and taking necessary security measures to guarantee the safety of women and girls, and promoting the work of national institutions in the Muslim world active in this field. The aim will be to eliminate such cases from our societies, given their negative effect on society’s development and progress.
The issue of violence against women is a particular source of concern for the OIC. This is why the Organization continues to do its utmost to advance women and protect them from all forms of violence by coordinating with member states, relevant OIC organs and institutions, and parties in the international community.
In this context, the OIC Plan of Action for the Advancement of Women (OPAAW), the Ten-Year Program of Action (POA-2025), and relevant resolutions adopted by the summit and ministerial conferences on women provide guidelines on ways and means of addressing these challenges facing women, including eliminating all forms of violence against them. The most recent was the eighth session of the OIC ministerial conference on women, held in Cairo, the Arab Republic of Egypt from 6 to 8 July 2021 under the theme: “Preserving the Achievement of Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in Light of the COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond.” The session adopted important resolutions on women protection and empowerment, mainstreaming gender equality in anti-covid-19 pandemic strategies and policies and promoting economic and social empowerment for women in member states.
Furthermore, the take-off of the OIC Women Development Organization (WDO) as a specialized institution of the OIC will contribute effectively to studying and dealing with the issue of violence against women and setting out ways to eliminate it in the OIC. On this occasion, therefore, I call on OIC member states that are yet to ratify the WDO statute to accelerate their ratification and accession procedures, so that the Organization can play the role expected of it in promoting and empowering women and in advancing their status in the Muslim world.
Hissein Brahim Taha