Doha: NHRC: 26/10/2011: The regional workshop on “Violence against Gender” , jointly organized by NHRC and UNHCR, Riyadh branch opened at the Millennium Hotel yesterday; the workshop discusses a set of issues such as the legal framework of international protection and a general overview of gender violence-its root causes and consequences on women.
The workshop is also reviewing issues and challenges of violence against gender in Qatar and national legal mechanisms dealing with gender violence. The workshop will also review relevant examples in other Gulf States.
Whereas Dr. Yusof Obaidan, NHRC, deputy Chairman delivered the opening speech on the first day of the 2-day activity, the session on the same day was also addressed by her excellency, Shaikha Hissa Bint Khalifa Ben Ahmad Al-Thani, the special rapporteur, previously dealing with disability affairs, Shaikha, Fraiha al-Sabah, Chairperson of the Kuwaiti Committee of the Ideal Family and Mr. Hamdi Bukhari, the regional representative of the UNHCR with Gulf countries.
In his opening speech, Dr. Obaidan said that “Violence against Gender” is a universal phenomenon rooted in the male-oriented societies the world over; however, Dr Obaidan added the main difference between the developed and developing societies lies in the degree of awareness of the phenomenon from one country to another; and in the legal and other procedural steps underway to protect women against violence; as well as in the rehabilitations programmes to qualify them to integrate with society anew. Legally, he went on to say, our societies in most cases are lagging behind where it comes to combating violence against gender despite the fact that such practices are in direct conflict with our Islamic cultural and moral values.
He concluded that we are in need of a real re-evaluation of our attitudes in this regard including the legislation of deterrent penalties against perpetrators of violence against women and girls; most important, he added, is the adoption of cultural programmes aimed at purging our culture from erroneous inherited concepts.
For her part, her excellency, Shaikha Hissa, described the issue of violence against gender as being both difficult to tackle and easy to comprehend; easy to comprehend, she explained, because of the rich literature available and accessible in the field of research and studies on the subject; but the same time difficult implement, when specialists and defenders of human rights meet to devise mechanisms to implement the outcome of the research and study documents at hand. She also spoke of what she described as un-recognized or non-publicized violence such violence against gender at the workplace; ironically, she went on to say, women are both victim and involved in gender violence.
In conclusion, Shaikha Hissa also underlined what she described as another kind of violence against gender-political isolation of woman. This, she said, is best reflected in Arab Spring movements in Yemen where women-participation in protests was abhorred, though they came out veiled and wearing neqab; in Egypt women were denied right to lead; and in Libya no participation was allowed in the NTC-National Transitional Council;