Important Reminder From Un Permenant Representative He Ferit Hoxha (BM Daimi Temsilcisi Ferit Hoxha’dan Önemli Hatırlatma)
While the world is committed to implementing the 2030 Agenda, and UNESCO is the lead agency in the United Nations system in implementing SDG 4, it is of crucial importance to continue and step up fight against sexual violence!
By Sheni Hamid
The Permanent Representative of Albania to UNESCO HE Ferit Hoxha has delivered a ground-breaking speech during the SVS’s International conference in UNESCO Paris.
The Internationally respectable association SVS’s (www.stopauxviolencessexuelles.com) 7 th successful conference took place during 6-7 January in Paris UNESCO Headquarter; reaching to its worldwide audience.
Presented by association’s Chairwoman Dr Violaine Guérin, SVS hosted HE Ferit Hoxha; French politician and a former member of the Senate of France Ms Muguette Dini; Prof Wissam El Hage; François Devaux, Alexandre Hezez; Marielle Vicet; Leila Miñano, Julia Pascual; Michael Moran; Florence Tilkens; Anne Maurel; Sheni Hamid, leading medical doctors and topic experts; international media representatives as well as more than five hundred guest.
Addressing the participants at the opening, the head of the Mission of Albania to UNESCO HE Ferit Hoxha has brought to attentions that ‘Up till today, violence in general and sexual violence in particular, mostly against girls and women, remains among the most persistent obstacles to gender equality and sustainable development’.
Further to his speech HE Mr Hoxha reminded everyone about the UN’s estimate, that ‘at present, 650 million women and girls -worldwide- were married before the age of 18’.
As a consequence, such marriages could be resulted in early pregnancy, social isolation, schooling interruptions, possibilities limitations of the girl, while potentially exposing her to possible violence within the family.
Highlighting the other statistics during the SVS session, HE Mr Hoxha continued with widely concerning points on the matter:
- About 15 million adolescent girls (aged 15 to 19) around the world have/had to undergo forced sex at a certain time in their lives. In the vast majority of countries, adolescent girls are most at risk of having to be facing forced sex with their current/ex-husband, partner or boyfriend. Based on data from 30 countries, the filed complaints had reached an insignificant number but only 1 percent of them turned to services to seek professional help.
- The #MeToo movement has raised a little veil on sexual violence in certain circles and it has surely helped to bring a little more light into this painful darkness, revealing ‘how much hypocrisy nurtured by the power could rule over innocence without caring about deep and lasting pain inflicted on the victims. (Eg: Exposing Epsteins, Wensteins, Matzneffs and others…).
- In a survey of 27 universities in the United States (in 2015) %23 of first-time university students (females) reported being assaulted or faced of sexual misconduct.
- In its April 2019 report, Amnesty International denounced widespread impunity in the Nordic countries regarding rape cases.
- Sexual violence all over the world: Estimates show 35 percent of women in the world who have suffered physical and/or sexual violence from intimate partner or from another person (not counting the sexual harassment).
- Certain studies carried out on a national scale show that in many contries, up to %70 of women have been victims of physical and/or sexual violence by a partner during their lifetime.
- More than half of the victims of human trafficking in the world are adult women.
- At least 200 million girls and women currently experiences female genital mutilation.
With also providing an example from his native country Albania, the Permanent Representative of Albania to the United Nations HE Ferit Hoxha noted that ‘Like any other country, Albania also has suffered and continues to suffer from sexual violence inflicted on women and girls.’
Hence, dealing with this great challenge requires an ongoing commitment. He mentioned continued efforts made in Albania in this respect, such as keeping dedicated hotlines to assist victims; introducing stronger legislation; creating and encouraging more open public dialogues; providing continuous encouragement to speak and file complaints; presenting appropriate psychological follow-ups and above all, giving a huge importance to education from an early age, while sharing positive practices will help everyone to progress better in the society.
Completing his message during the SVS Conference, HE Mr Hoxha once more brought to attentions that, why every individuals’ commitment and work is important on this matter:
‘As UN is committed to implementing the 2030 Agenda – and UNESCO is the responsible agency in the United Nations system for SDG 4, education, ‘NOW’ it is more necessary and useful than ever to continue this crucial fight against sexual violence.
With courage and wisdom, in an ethical and sensitized manner, to change mores and habits, to encourage victims to talk about it, to lodge a complaint, to seek help, to use the law is extremely essential… Because all these efforts will help to build a better world, for women, for our mothers, for our sisters, for our daughters, for our children, consequently for all of us!