Joint Statement of SRI and the International Lesbian and Gay Association during the panel discussion on women’s human rights defenders
Delivered by Fikile Vilakazi, Coalition of African Lesbians (South Africa)
The Special Rapporteur highlights that the killings can be direct with defined perpetrators in the home, community or by the State and, critically, gender-motivated killings can also be indirect where the perpetrator is not so easily defined such as in the case of deaths from clandestine abortions, maternal mortality, deaths from harmful traditional practices and deaths from neglect through starvation or ill-treatment. Restrictive abortion laws and criminalization of abortion that lead women to seek illegal abortions coupled with poor access to reproductive health services have been recognized as causes of preventable maternal mortality. In addition, harmful practices that seek to control women’s and girls’ sexuality through violence and stigma are reinforced by the State’s failure to protect women’s and girls’ rights from a holistic perspective which takes into account the political, economic and social context in which this violence occurs.
We also share the consideration of a problem of killings of women based on sexual orientation and gender identity. This constitutes multiple discrimination and is fueled by homophobic statements and positions by states and non-state actors, including their analysis on tradition, culture and religion.
Transformative reparations must also take into account that marginalized women have the least access to judicial or administrative remedies. Multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination serve to disempower, exclude, and stigmatize women, which if not considered in reparation schemes, will only reinforce existing inequalities.
SRI statement during interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children
The Sexual Rights Initiative and partners co-sponsored a side event at the 20th session of the Human Rights Council focusing on criminal laws and women’s right to health. The objective of the event was to provide a forum for States and stakeholders in Geneva to discuss the key findings and recommendations of the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health’s 2011 report to the General Assembly on the criminalization of sexual and reproductive health including abortion.