ASTRA Central and Eastern European Women’s Network for Sexual and Reproductive Rights and Health

Apr 27 2017

In a letter addressed to the Prime Minister of Croatia, Commissioner Muižnieks strongly encourages the authorities to move quickly forward on their path towards the ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (‘Istanbul Convention’). He also underscores the importance of eliminating misconceptions about this Convention in public discourse in Croatia, in particular concerning the use of the term “gender”.

“Some critics may acknowledge that violence against women is a problem, but wish to prevent governments from challenging traditional gender roles and stereotypes, due to a cultural affirmation that men and women should play very different roles in public life and within the family. This approach limits women to the stereotypical role of mothers, giving birth and staying at home to rear children. The critics go as far as to argue that the Istanbul Convention should not be ratified because it would endanger societies based on traditional families. This is a fallacious claim: all the measures provided for by the Istanbul Convention reinforce family foundations and ties by preventing and combating violence, which represents one of the main causes of destruction of families.”

Read the Commissioner for Human Rights letter addressed to the Prime Minister of Croatia

Read the reply by the Croatian authorities to the letter

Source: CoE Commissioner for Human Rights

Apr 20 2017

The United Nations Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights, Ms. Karima Bennoune, is inviting all relevant stakeholders to contribute to a consultation on the impact of fundamentalism and extremism on the cultural rights of women.

In her last report to the Human Rights Council, the Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights presented an overview of the impact of diverse forms of fundamentalism and extremism on the enjoyment of cultural rights (A/HRC/34/56). She also indicated her intention to study this issue further for her upcoming report to the General Assembly. This follow up report will focus on the impact of fundamentalism and extremism, as defined in A/HRC/34/56, on the cultural rights of women.

In order to assess the impact of fundamentalism and extremism on women’s enjoyment of cultural rights and challenges related to the rights of women to access, take part in and contribute to cultural life, and to contribute to and enjoy the arts and science, the Special Rapporteur has prepared a questionnaire and invited all States, United Nations agencies, academics and civil society organizations to send their contributions. She strongly encourages those making contributions to read her report A/HRC/34/56, as well as the report of the first mandate holder on the cultural rights of women (A/67/287). Where necessary, contributors should carefully explain the cultural rights impact of any issues they report on.

Details can be found in the link HERE, deadline for submissions is May 19th. 

Apr 18 2017

UN Member States gathered at the 50th session of the Commission on Population and Development were not able to reach a consensus on the draft resolution – to our great disappointment there is no agreed outcome document this year, only a Chair’s summary.

The International Conference on Population and Development Programme of Action (ICPD PoA) remains the most comprehensive negotiated action document on many aspects of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) and reproductive rights (RR). At its 20-year review, all governments agreed that the agenda should be continued until it is fully achieved, yet many member states were again disputing over references to SRH and RR.

Views statements on the issue by ASTRA’s partners: IWHC and ARROW.

Permanent Representative of Romania to the UN, ambassador Ion Jinga, was elected president of the 51st session of CPD in 2018. The 51st session will focus on „Sustainable cities, human mobility and international migration”.

Apr 12 2017

Very strong and bold statement by Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights - The Shrinking Space for Human Rights Organisations - with several references to countries of Central and Eastern Europe - can be accessed online HERE.

Apr 04 2017

New publication from the European Consortium for Emergency Contraception examines the accessibility of emergency contraception in the CEE region. This factsheet summarizes the main findings of this survey as of October 2015, and includes data from 15 countries: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Republic of Moldova, Russian Federation, Serbia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

Access the publication here

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