STATES MUST PUT AN END TO LAWS AND PRACTICES THAT GENERATE VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS
The pandemic of violence against women in the Americas region demonstrates states’ lack of political will to protect the rights of women and girls.
We are adding our voice to the hundreds of organizations throughout the region demanding the end of violence against women. The measures that need to be taken are well known.
However, the cycle of violence against women will never be broken if states do not reform all discriminatory laws, public policies and practices governing access to sexual and reproductive health and rights.
These discriminatory regulations, which are based on gender stereotypes, violate women and girls’ human rights. They constitute violence against women at the hands of the state, and sometimes torture.
With these regulations states are also sending a strong message to society: this state endorses and tolerates discrimination against women because the state is generating and reproducing this violence.
Changing them would be an important step forward.
On the occasion of the XLVI General Assembly of the Organization of American States, which is due to be held in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic in June 2016, we urge your government to:
- Support a declaration that recognizes that certain violations of sexual and reproductive rights constitute violence against women and torture or other ill treatment;
- Call on the OAS to issue clear guidelines to states on how to prevent and eradicate violence against women and torture in the area of sexual and reproductive health;
- Call on the OAS to have an in-depth debate about teenage pregnancy and to take measures to avoid forcing young girls to continue with pregnancies, which are the result of rape, and give birth.
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