EU role a chance to highlight violence issue, says Robinson
Former president Mary Robinson has said Ireland’s presidency of the EU is an opportunity to prioritise the issue of gender-based violence.
Mrs Robinson was speaking at a seminar of the Consortium on Gender-Based Violence, a body comprising Irish human-rights and development organisations, Irish Aid and the Defence Forces. Gender-based violence is violence arising from gender inequality or discrimination such as sexual or domestic violence, forced or early marriage and sexual exploitation.
In its paper launched yesterday, the consortium is seeking the inclusion of the issue in any successor to the UN’s millennium development goals, the deadline for which is 2015. Mrs Robinson said its absence from the 2015 goals was “a glaring omission”.
“It’s really important as we move forward to the post-2015 agenda on sustainable development goals that we understand that gender-based violence undermines development.”
Speaking of a visit to Uganda where she said a survey had shown 80 per cent of married women felt it was all right for their husbands to beat them, she said work was needed to change perceptions.
She said this was critical to developing countries in which “women and girls are seen as so central” to development.
Oxfam chief executive Jim Clarken, who chaired the event, dedicated it to human rights activist Inez McCormack.