JEDDAH, March 8: OIC Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC), in observing the ‘International Women’s Day’, highlighted the increasing challenges faced by migrant and refugee women across the world, especially in the conflict zones. In this regards, IPHRC called upon all stakeholders in the OIC Member States and the international community to expand efforts for the the provision of gender sensitive legal and socioeconomic assistance in a way that it protects and promotes the rights of women in vulnerable situations particularly that of conflicts, refugees and forced migration. According to UNHRC statistics, in times of displacement, women and girls make up around 50 percent of any refugee or internally displaced population. While they all face different forms of discrimination, those who are unaccompanied, pregnant, heads of household, disabled or elderly are especially vulnerable.
Accordingly, legal assistance must address the practical barriers that women and girls face in accessing justice resulting from the circumstances of displacement, socio- economic disadvantage, illiteracy and lack of awareness of rights. IPHRC welcomed the adoption of the Revised OIC Plan of Action for the Advancement of Women (OPAAW) by OIC member states in November 2016 and called upon all Member States to fully implement it by internalizing the suggested policies, making effective use of OPAAW mechanisms, especially its follow-up indicators to establish the Women Advisory Council that calls for ensuring women’s full and equal participation in decision-making processes including in conflict resolution, peace-making and peacebuilding processes.
The commission further emphasized that any meaningful solution to resolve conflicts and build resilient societies in post-conflict zones can only be achieved through investment in women empowerment, by providing education, economic opportunities and emancipation and, if needed, positive discrimination should be considered for the benefit of vulnerable women. Since its inception in 2011, IPHRC has adopted women’s rights as a top priority and strategic area of work. In its efforts to promote women’s rights within OIC member states and beyond, IPHRC has conducted thematic studies and organized thematic debates on promoting and protecting women’s rights. Furthermore, IPHRC continues its efforts to work with the OIC member states and global community towards the promotion and protection of women’s rights through sharing of best practices and technical expertise. For more information: Please visit IPHRC’s website: www.oic-iphrc.org