The Hague, 20 September 2019
International Peace Day
Silence is No Option! Women in Kashmir
20 years of UNSCR 1325 provides no record of protecting Human Rights of women in Kashmir
To respond to the emerging voices of women from Kashmir demanding respect for Human Rights and recognition for their endurance to confront atrocities committed against them, and to mark the International Peace Day on 21st September 2019, Gender Concerns International launches Silence is No Option campaign by releasing a You Tube Video Silence is No Option! – To the bravery and fearlessness of Women in Kashmir.
The Video is an initiative of our young women`s Pashmina Shield Team that expresses the concerns over and solidarity with the bravery and fearlessness of the women in Kashmir, a region classified as the world’s most militarized zone. As the Kashmir conflict has been ongoing for 72 years now, 72 young women in Europecome forward to challenge the International Community that till this date remains lips sealed towards the reported violence and committed crimes against women in Kashmir, the largest region occupied by security forces.
Further, the recent escalation of tension between India and Pakistan has positioned women at a flashpoint to bear the burden of being frontline victims of this long-lasting conflict. This volatile situation demands urgency in response by the International Community.
Following the basic Human Rights violation cases in the aftermath of the abrogation of Article 370 by the Government of India, Gender Concerns International has been observing the situation with grave concern and it has taken certain initiatives in drawing the international attention to the increasingly difficult situation of women in Indian Administered Kashmir (IAK). Firstly, at the occasion of the 45th G7 Summit in Biarritz (August 24 to 26) open letters to President Macron, the host of the G7 Summit, as well as to the UN Women and the G7 Gender Equality Advisory Council were sent not only to highlight the severe situation of the women in Kashmir, but most importantly to request actions from the International Community in preventing women`s Human Rights violations and protecting them against any attempts of violence and abuse.
Additionally in The Hague, the Netherlands meetings with diplomats of India and Pakistan were held to express concerns over the situation of women in Kashmir. Further, in Geneva, Switzerland, director Sabra Bano met with Ambassador Tehmina Janjua, Special Envoy of the Prime Minister Khan of Pakistan to learn about the position of her government regarding the gender dimension of the Kashmir Conflict.
The Campaign, Silence is No Option is launched to mark the International Peace Day on 21st September 2019 as to reaffirm our commitment to support women in war zones and disputed territories worldwide. It is crucial that women`s Human Rights in Kashmir are upheld and protected. We consider it vital to end all speculations regarding the wellbeing of women in Kashmir.
The Silence is No Option campaign urges cooperation from the government of India, Pakistan and support from the International Community to facilitate a visit of an Independent International Women Observers Delegation to meet women in IAK and assess their situation on the ground.
Under UNSCR 1325, the International Community is obliged to protect women in conflict zones and prevent them from violence, intimidation and various forms of abuse. As an advocate to promote United Nations Security Council`s Resolution (UNSCR) 1325, Gender Concerns International is committed to support women in countries such as Afghanistan, Myanmar, Libya, Sierra Leon, Tunisia, Morocco and regions like Indian and Pakistan Administered Kashmir.
For further information please contact:
Gender Concerns International
Benoordenhoutseweg 23, 2596 BA, The Hague, the Netherlands
Gender Concerns International is an international gender and development organization with its headquarters in The Hague and offices in several focus countries. It specializes working in the area of Women, Peace and Security, Climate Change and Election Observation from Gender Perspective.