UN, Årab League tackle sexual violence against women

UN, Årab League tackle sexual violence against women
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The United Nations and the League of Arab States today signed an agreement to strengthen collaboration on prevention of conflict-related sexual violence in the Arab region.

The agreement was signed in Cairo, Egypt, by the UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict,Zainab Hawa Bangura, and Nabil el-Araby, Secretary-General of the League of the Arab States. It is meant to form the foundation on which to mobilize political commitment and collaborate in combatting rape and other instances of conflict-related sexual violence, particularly in Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen

“This framework of cooperation gives us a platform to join and reinforce our efforts, and together build a comprehensive response in the security, justice and service sectors,” said Special Representative Bangura, who is also a UN Under-Secretary-General.

Women form a human chain outside the UN offices in the Gaza Strip to protest Israeli violence against women on the International Day Against Violence Against Women. Copyright (C) 2015 Mohammed Asad. All Rights reserved. Photos may be reproduced with proper credit to Mohammed Asad and the Arab Daily News

Women form a human chain outside the UN offices in the Gaza Strip to protest Israeli violence against women on the International Day Against Violence Against Women. Copyright (C) 2015 Mohammed Asad. All Rights reserved. Photos may be reproduced with proper credit to Mohammed Asad and the Arab Daily News

That will include deeper information sharing and analysis, training and capacity building, and providing medical and psychosocial services to survivors and their families, according to a press release from the Office of the Special Representative.

The agreement also cites the role of civil society, as well as religious and traditional leaders “to help shift the stigma of sexual violence from the victims to the perpetrators” and to ensure that survivors and the potential children they bear as a result of the crimes, are accepted back into their communities, the Office said.

“Ultimately it is my hope that the focused engagement of the Arab League will catalyze greater national leadership, ownership and responsibility among its member countries to protect vulnerable women, children and men from sexual violence,” Mrs. Bangura added.

While in Egypt, the UN Special Representative met with Sheikh Ahmed El-Tayeb, whose title of Grand Imam of Al Azhar makes him one of the highest authorities in Sunni Islamic thought.

The Arab Daily News

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During their meeting, Mrs. Bangura received assurance of the Sheikh’s commitment to speaking out against conflict-related sexual violence, particularly in the context of acts by extremist groups such as ISIL and Boko Haram, according to the press release.

“This is an affront to the most sacred and fundamental tenets of Islam as a religion of peace and tolerance,” Mrs. Bangura said, referring to what she calls “perverting” of Islam by groups that attempt to give religious justification for sexual slavery and other acts of violence against women and girls.

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rayhanania

Managing Writer at The Arab Daily News
RAY HANANIA — Columnist

Ray Hanania is an award winning political and humor columnist who analyzes American and Middle East politics, and life in general. He is an author of several books.

"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."

Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).

Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia as the Special US Correspondent for the Arab News at www.ArabNews.com, the TheArabDailyNews.com, www.TheDailyHookah.com and at SuburbanChicagoland.com. He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper, YNetNews.com, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.

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