---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: 19 Aug 96 12:51:47 EDT
From: Giampi Alhadeff <100664.2557@CompuServe.COM>
Subject: Stop Violence Against Women
28, Rue Le Titien - 1000 Bruxelles - Belgium
Tel. 00 33-2-743.05.70 Fax. 00 33-2-743.05.89
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STOP VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN THE MADRID DECLARATION
In June 1995 over 150 women and men from Asia, Africa, Latin
America and Europe came together to join efforts to STOP VIOLENCE AGAINST
WOMEN. The Conference had been organised by SOLIDAR, the alliance of
welfare and development organisations who are linked to the the labour and
democratic socialist movement. Since then men and women from all around
the world have endorsed the Madrid Declaration. In November this year the
Declaration will be presented to Radica Kumaraswami, the UNs Special
Rapporteur on violence against women.
It is important that as many women and organisations as possible show
their committment to end all forms of violence against women by endorsing
We are also keen to get men, particularly prominent ones to sign the
Declaration. Our biggest result in this respect was to get Felipe Gonzales
to sign the Declaration just before, he stepped down as Spains Prime
Please help. Download the declaration, get it supported in your workplace,
get artists, politicians and friends to back it and committ themselves to
do their bit to STOP VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN wherever it is to be found.
Thank you for your support:
Yours in Sisterhood
Stop Violence Against Women
The Madrid Declaration, we believe that:
Women worldwide are subjected to many forms of violence, in spite of the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights and many international conventions
Women are affected by violence in war, in the workplace and at home.
Gender related violence, defined as an assault against the physical and
psychological integrity of a person, is based on, and perpetuates the
unequal power relations between men and women.
Women are exploited at work, often without access to trade unions; they
are forced into prostitution; harassed, beaten or raped. In many parts of
the world, violence against women has become a deliberate strategy of war.
Violence against women is:
A crime and a violation of human rights.
An obstacle to social, economic and political development.
An obstacle to peace and democracy.
A challenge to us all
Violence against women destroys human dignity, is a block to development
and diminishes both men and women.
Men have used and abused positions of power to violate womens human
rights. Now, men in all walks of life must organise to transform their
attitudes and combat all forms of violence against women.
Women have formulated political strategies of resistance and organised to
bring the issue of violence against women into the public arena.
The Madrid Declaration aims to condemn all forms of violence against women
and establish values, behaviour and commitments which could lead to the
eradication of violence against women and to action based on the
experience and strategies of the womens movement. Specific emphasis is
placed on the involvement and awareness of men.
SOLIDAR and all the signatories of The Madrid Declaration call upon the
relevant international organisations, governments, national and local
institutions and community based organisations to commit themselves to the
To ratify or reaffirm without reservation, and implement all UN
conventions and declarations relating to the protection and promotion of
womens human rights and to provide adequate and additional resources to
fulfil their mandates. These include among others the Convention on the
Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Geneva
Convention of 1949 and additional protocols. To provide resources to
combat the root causes of violence at all levels by promoting the
understanding and dissemination of information on the causes and
consequences of violence against women; programmes and services to
alleviate violence against women, including the protection of victims and
rehabilitation of perpetrators and develop strategies to prevent gender
related violence. Special attention should be given to changing the
attitudes and practice of men. To recognise women as political actors by
promoting women at all decision making levels locally, nationally and
internationally, supporting their self-determination and their political
struggles. To place special emphasis and resources on prevention through
formal and informal education. To bring pressure to bear on the mass media
not to glorify violence and sexist images.
The privacy of the home, ethnic and cultural customs and all types of
religious fundamentalism must not be allowed to act as excuses behind
which the human rights of half the world's population are violated with
impunity. Domestic violence is a public, not a private issue.
To adopt and strengthen the necessary legal measures to protect women from
all forms of domestic and social violence, including physical and mental
abuse, harassment and rape. To provide the necessary resources to ensure
effective justice for women survivors of violence. To train and raise the
awareness of public servants and officials at all levels, on the issues of
violence against women and to ensure that women survivors receive adequate
attention, support and protection. To promote discussion at national and
international levels on the means to confront domestic violence.
The introduction of neo-liberal economic strategies and Structural
Adjustment Programmes have worsened the conditions of women due to the
reduction of public spending on health, education and social welfare. Due
to women's productive and reproductive roles, this leaves them more
vulnerable to violence.
A further consequence of the globalisation and deregulation of the economy
is the gross exploitation of workers, especially women, in the
international labour market. This is particularly evident in Export
Processing zones. Exploitation and violence implicit in the trafficking
of women and increased migration must be factors of special concern for
labour and trade union movements.
Northern and Southern trade unions, NGOs and other national and
international bodies are urged to:
Work together to introduce a social clause in the World Trade Organisation
guaranteeing basic working rights for all women workers including those in
Export Processing Zones. Ensure the protection of all women from the
abuses and exploitation of trafficking and forced prostitution Secure and
advance the labour rights of documented and undocumented migrant workers.
Provide standards and mechanisms for the prosecution of employers who
violate national and international labour standards. Utilise and
strengthen consumer organisations to promote products which do not violate
womens rights as workers.
WAR AND CONFLICT
We are witnessing an increasing number of armed conflicts around the
world, both international and within nation states. Civilians are most
affected by these conflicts, and women are the main victims. 80 % of the
world's refugees and internally displaced are women and children.
Decisive action must be taken in zones of war in order to stop any abuse
directed at women and children. Rape and all kinds of sexual violence,
torture, sexual slavery, slaughter of women, forced abortion and forced
sterilisation are being systematically used as weapons of war.
We the signatories of the Madrid Declaration urge the international
community, national governments and non-governmental bodies to:
Define all forms of gender specific violence in areas of war and conflict
as war crimes, and ensure that individuals who advocate or take part in
such acts of violence are tried and sentenced according to internationally
accepted norms, standards and mechanisms for the punishment of war crimes.
Ensure womens human rights in war and conflict, in flight, in refugee
camps and in countries of asylum. Women fleeing from situations of
political conflict and repression must have the right to asylum on an
independent basis, and the right to family reunification. All efforts
should be made to assist them to integrate and enjoy full and equal rights
in the countries of asylum. Ensure that humanitarian assistance programmes
are gender sensitive and include local partners and organisations, with
women being central to the design and implementation of these programmes.
Support and intensify efforts towards peace, conflict prevention and
recognise womens central role and accelerate efforts to reduce arms
trading in the world.
We the undersigned and the organisations we represent declare our
commitment to take forward the Madrid Declaration.
Please express your solidarity with the views expressed in the Madrid
Declaration. Circulate a petition among your colleagues, friends and
family, asking them to join us in our fight to Stop Violence against
Thank you for your support