The Hague, 23 August 2019
Call for Action
Women in Kashmir: Ahead of G7 Meeting
Ahead of the G7 meeting this weekend under the presidency of French President Macron, a leading global advocate of French Feminist Foreign Policy, the statement on Kashmir, issued after his meeting with Prime Minister Modi yesterday demonstrates the growing international vigilance to the plight of people in Kashmir and especially the women and girls in Indian Administered Kashmir. President Macron affirms that ‘‘France will remain attentive to ensuring that the interest and rights of the civilian population are duly taken into account in the territories on both sides of the Line of Control.’’
Gender Concerns International welcomes the statement and hopes that President Macron and G7 Gender Equality Advisory Council will remain attentive and proactive in ensuring the protection of women`s human rights in Kashmir. Yesterday the organisation sent a letter to President Macron and handed it over to the Embassy of France in the Netherlands. Further, letters have also been sent to Nadia Murad, Denis Mukwege and Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka ahead of their summit with President Macron today.
Gender Concerns International is also writing to Prime Minister Modi and Prime Minister Khan, appealing them to ensure the protection and security of women in Kashmir
As the recent tensions have escalated between India and Pakistan, women make up a disproportionate number of the victims of this longstanding conflict. This situation demands the world’s attention and a response is urgently needed to the plight of women in Indian Administered Kashmir.
Under the heavy deployment of military forces, recent house raids and detention of thousands of Kashmiri men have left many Kashmiri women particularly defenceless and vulnerable to abuses associated with armed conflict in fragile democracies and conflict zones.
In addition, women in Kashmir are widely humiliated as physical commodities based on their beauty and trafficked to men in India. This degradation of women in one of the largest democracies in the world is particularly concerning as a backlash to the global gender equality achievement benchmarks.
Under UNSRC 1325, the international community is obliged to protect women in conflict zones and regions and prevent them from violence, intimidation and various forms of abuse. As a signatory of the Dutch National Action Plan on UNSCR 1325, Gender Concerns international is committed to supporting women in conflict zones working in countries like Afghanistan, Myanmar, Libya, Sierra Leon, Tunisia and Morocco.
This weekend (August 24 to 26) the 45th G7 Summit will take place in Biarritz, France. Therefore, letters have been submitted to President Macron, the host of the G7 Summit, as well as to the UN Women and the G7 Gender Equality Advisory Council. These letters not only highlight the grave situation of the women in Kashmir, but most importantly request actions from the international community to protect women in conflict situation and prevent them against any attempt of violence and abuse! As this years’ G7 theme is inequality, Gender Concerns International considers it vital to highlight the current situation in Indian administered Kashmir.
We welcome the statement made by president Macron promising France’s full commitment to Human Rights in Kashmir. President made this announcement during his meeting with Prime Minister Modi.
Given the urgency of the situation Gender Concerns International proposes an international gender conference on Kashmir and Women, Peace and Security. Also due to the fact that there is limited first-hand information available from Indian Administered Kashmir, it is crucial India cooperates in facilitating an international gender-expert team to observe and report the situation in Kashmir.
We also appeal to Prime Minister Modi and Prime Minister Khan to ensure their commitment to protect women’s basic human rights, irrespective of their progress in dissolving the Kashmir dispute immediately.
We urge the international community to ensure the safety of all women on the ground caught in this conflict!
Gender Concerns International is an international gender and development organization with its headquarters in The Hague that pioneered and specialized in observing international elections from a pure gender perspective. It has conducted a series of unique GEOMs successfully observing elections exclusively from a gender perspective in Pakistan (2008, 2013), Tunisia (2011, 2014), Morocco (2011, 2015, 2016), Libya (2012), Myanmar (2015) and The Netherlands (2017).
For further details please contact:
Gender Concerns International Benoordenhoutseweg 23, 2596 BA, The Hague, the Netherlands