Crimes involving violence against women are among the most under-reported and the least likely to end with a just sentence. Over the past weeks, we have seen thousands of women protest all over the world supporting demonstrations over the deaths of women in all their diversity as a result of the persisting Gender Based Violence that exists in communities around the world. From Afghanistan to Ecuador and Iran to Pakistan, we have learnt of the brutal killings and violence targeted at women and girls in all their diversity. Unfortunately, these situations are replicated not only in these countries, but in all corners of the world. This issue is not only devastating for survivors of violence and their families but it also shows how much work still needs to be done to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls in all their diversity.
Dozens of adolescent girls and young women who were simply taking an exam were killed and others injured in Kabul-Afghanistan, by a suicide attack. Women in Afghanistan reportedly took to the streets to protest the targeting of the Hazara ethnic minority. The deaths of these youngsters are a reminder of the failure to protect and guarantee human rights, especially for women and girls.
Meanwhile in Ecuador, the country was rocked by the murder of the 34-year-old lawyer María Belén Bernal who disappeared after entering a police training facility in Quito where she went to visit her husband, a police officer. Days later, her femicide is reported, having the police as the first suspects of a state crime. There have been 206 femicides in Ecuador since the beginning of the year, according to an NGO that monitors gender violence in the country. In Iran, women rights activists and advocates have put up demonstrations to condemn the death of Zhina Masha Amini, and call for freedom and respect for human rights for women in Iran and all over the world. The 22-year-old Amini died following her arrest by Tehran’s morality police during a visit to the capital after she allegedly wore a hijab improperly. Her death has unleashed a nationwide flood of protests over human rights, security and an economy reeling from international sanctions.
Concurrently, over the last weeks, at least four trans women have been killed in Pakistan. Some trans-rights activists blame lumping “transgender” together with “homosexuality” for the renewed targeting of their community. Homosexuality is a punishable offense in Pakistan; situation that W4GF strongly disapproves. Transgender people in Pakistan and especially trans women routinely suffer harassment and many faces death threats as well as social stigma and fatal attacks.
It has taken decades of struggle by several women’s rights movements that fight for the elimination of violence against women and girls. Women in all diversity deserve equality and freedom to enjoy their rights, and have access to health, education, and social protection services that pertain to them, yet women are targeted and deprived of bodily autonomy, the freedoms of opinion, expression, and safe access to comprehensive social services which is an outright disregard of human rights. This continuous systemic harassment, repression, and violence of women and girls around the world is seemingly not ending and it has caused the death of thousands of women.
Women4GlobalFund and advocates are strictly condemning the deaths of these women. We join our voices in solidarity to shout out loud that Women have the right to choose! Women have the right to access healthcare and a safe education! Women have the right to live!
Women all over the world are playing a prominent role in the demonstrations and we join them in solidarity to call for change and an effective end to gender-based violence targeted towards women and girls in all their diversity.
We stand with the women of Afghanistan, Ecuador, Iran, and Pakistan and therefore, call for prompt and impartial investigations into these human rights violations, and the findings made public. We stand with women from all over the world who have experienced any kind of gender-based violence and deprivation of their human rights.
Women4GlobalFund mourns for the lives of Masha Amini, Maria Belen Bernal and those lost during the attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan and during the protests. Women4GlobalFund extends our deepest condolences and stands with you and all the women and girls around the world in all their diversity as we continue to fight for the guarantee of women’s rights.