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Wednesday 5 August 2009

Le Comité des droits de l’Homme des Nations unies préoccupé par les discriminations et les violences à l'égard des femmes au Tchad

Genève-Ndjaména, le 5 août 2009 – Lors de son examen de la situation générale des droits de l'Homme au Tchad, le Comité des droits de l'Homme des Nations unies a exprimé son inquiétude concernant la situation des femmes dans ce pays.

Les préoccupations de la Fédération internationale des ligues des droits de l'Homme (FIDH) et ses organisations membres au Tchad, la Ligue tchadienne des droits de l'Homme (LTDH) et l'Association tchadienne pour la promotion et la défense des droits de l'Homme (ATPDH), concernant les discriminations et les violences à l'égard des femmes ont fait l'objet de recommandations fortes de la part du Comité des droits de l'Homme des Nations unies. Le Comité, dans ses conclusions finales du 30 juillet 2009, a appelé le Tchad à mettre fin aux mutilations génitales féminines ainsi qu'aux nombreuses discriminations à l'encontre des femmes découlant de l'application du droit coutumier, y compris dans le cadre du régime successoral et de la propriété.

Le Comité a appelé le Tchad à prendre des mesures efficaces pour éradiquer la violence domestique, en encourageant les victimes à dénoncer les faits et en leur octroyant une assistance effective. Le Tchad devrait aussi adopter un texte d’application permettant un recours accru à la loi sur la santé et la réproduction de 2002, et veiller à ce que les auteurs de violence domestique soient effectivement sanctionnés.

Le Comité a appelé le Tchad à prendre les mesures nécessaires, y compris législatives, pour l’abolition de la polygamie, et adopter et appliquer des mesures éducatives susceptibles de la prévenir.

Le Comité s'est également prononcé préoccupé par la faible représentation des femmes dans la vie publique et à appelé le Tchad à promouvoir davantage leur participation, renforcer leur éducation et garantir leur accès à l’emploi.

Concernant les femmes déplacées à l'intérieur du pays, le Comité a noté avec préoccupation qu'elles sont souvent victimes de viols et d’autres formes de violences sexuelles de la part de milices et de groupes armées. Le Comité a notamment appelé le Tchad à renforcer sa capacité à assurer la protection des femmes déplacées, mener des enquêtes, entamer des poursuites, sanctionner tout auteur de violences sexuelles et octroyer aux victimes toute l’assistance nécessaire.

Enfin, le Comité a évoqué avec préoccupation le cas particulier de la mineure Khadidja Ousmane Mahamat, qui a été forcée à un mariage précoce à l’âge de 13 ans et demi et accusée d’avoir empoisonné son mari de 70 ans. Non encore jugée, elle est en prison depuis 2004, où elle a été violée par un responsable de prison des œuvres duquel elle a eu un enfant, et où elle continue à être victime d’abus sexuels. "(Le Tchad) devrait protéger Khadidja Ousmane Mahamat, lui octroyer toute l’assistance nécessaire et juger et sanctionner les auteurs des violences perpétrées à son égard," a déclaré le Comité.

La FIDH et ses organisations membres appellent donc les autorités tchadiennes à mettre en œuvre dans les plus brefs délais l’ensemble des recommandations du Comité, qui feront l'objet d'un suivi attentif non seulement de la part du Comité onusien, mais également de nos organisations.

Friday 10 July 2009

ENGAGEZ VOUS POUR LES DROITS DES FEMMES !

Communiqué de presse

La coalition l'Afrique pour les droits des femmes : ratifier et respecter lance un appel aux Etats n'ayant toujours pas ratifié le Protocole à la Charte africaine relatif aux droits de la femme en Afrique

english version

Le 11 juillet 2009 - Aujourd'hui le Protocole à la Charte africaine des droits de l'Homme et des peuples relatif aux droits de la femme en Afrique fêtera ses six ans. Adopté en 2003 à Maputo, Mozambique, et entré en vigueur en 2005, le Protocole a désormais été ratifié par la majorité des Etats africains qui se sont engagés à «éliminer toutes formes de discrimination à l'égard des femmes et (à) assurer la protection des droits de la femme». Cependant 26 Etats n'ont toujours pas ratifié le Protocole** .

Ce texte extrêmement important, à l'instar de la Convention des Nations unies sur l'élimination de toutes les formes de discrimination à l'égard des femmes (Convention CEDAW) ratifiée par la quasi totalité des Etats africains, offre un cadre juridique de référence pour assurer le respect des droits humains des femmes: élimination des discriminations et des pratiques néfastes; droit à la vie et à l'intégrité physique; égalité des droits en matière civile et familiale ; accès à la justice; droit de participation au processus politique; protection dans les conflits armés; droits économiques et protection sociale; droit à la santé et à la sécurité alimentaire, etc.

Convaincues que la lutte contre les discriminations et les violences à l'égard des femmes passe par la modification du cadre législatif, plus d'une centaine d'associations ont lancé, le 8 mars dernier la campagne «L'Afrique pour les droits des femmes: Ratifier et Respecter» appelant les États africains à ratifier le Protocole de Maputo et les autres instruments de protection des droits humains des femmes et à tout mettre en oeuvre pour garantir le respect de leurs dispositions.

Menée par la Fédération internationale des ligues des droits de l'Homme (FIDH), en coopération avec cinq organisations régionales africaines*** , cette campagne est soutenue par de nombreuses personnalités, telles les prix Nobel de la paix Mgr Desmond Tutu et Shirin Ebadi, les prix Nobel de littérature, Wole Soyinka et Nadine Gordimer, par les artistes Angélique Kidjo, Tiken Jah Fakoly et Youssou N'Dour ou encore par Mme Soyata Maiga, Rapporteure spéciale de la Commission africaine des droits de l'Homme et des peuples sur les droits des femmes en Afrique.

Toutes les organisations et personnalités signataires de la campagne vous appellent par conséquent à saisir l'occasion de l'anniversaire du Protocole à la Charte africaine sur les droits de la femme en Afrique pour le ratifier et ainsi affirmer vos engagements en faveur des droits des femmes dans vos pays.


** Algérie, Botswana, Burundi, Cameroun, Congo-Brazzaville, Côte d'Ivoire, Egypte, Erythrée, Ethiopie, Gabon, Guinée, Guinée équatoriale, Kenya, Madagascar, Maurice, Niger, Ouganda, République centrafricaine, Sao Tome et Principe, Sierra Leone, Somalie, Soudan, Swaziland, Tchad, Tunisie


*** Femmes Africa Solidarités (FAS), Women in Law in South Africa (WLSA), African Center for Democracy and Human Rights Studies (ACDHRS), Women in Law and Development in Africa (WILDAF) et Women's aid Collective (WACOL)

COMMIT TO THE PROTECTION OF WOMEN'S RIGHTS!

Press Statement

The coalition of the campaign "Africa for women's rights : ratify and respect !" issues a call to states that have failed to ratify the Protocol to the African Charter on the Rights of Women in Africa

version française

11 July 2009 - Today marks the sixth anniversary of the adoption of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa. Adopted in 2003 in Maputo, Mozambique, the Protocol entered into force in 2005 and has now been ratified by the majority of African states which have thus committed themselves to “ensur(ing) that the rights of women are promoted, realised and protected”. However, 26 States have yet to ratify the Protocol** .

This Protocol, like the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW Convention) which has been ratified by almost all African States, provides a legal framework of reference for ensuring respect for women's human rights: elimination of discrimination and harmful practices; right to life and to physical integrity; equality in the domain of the family and civil rights; access to justice; right to participate in the political process; protection in armed conflicts; economic rights and social protection; right to health and food security, etc.

Convinced that the fight against discrimination and violence against women requires changes to the the legal framework, on 8 March this year over one hundred organisations launched the campaign “Africa for Women's Rights: Ratify and Respect” calling on African States to ratify the Maputo Protocol and the other women's rights protection instruments and to take all necessary measures to guarantee respect of their provisions.

Initiated by the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), in cooperation with five African regional organisations*** , this campaign has the support of patrons including the Nobel Peace Prize Laureates Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Shirin Ebadi, the Nobel Literature Prize Laureates Wole Soyinka and Nadine Gordimer, the artists Angélique Kidjo, Tiken Jah Fakoly and Youssou N'Dour, as well as Ms. Soyata Maiga, Special Rapporteur of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa.

All the organisations involved in the campaign, and the campaign's patrons, call on the Presidents of the 26 states that have not yet done so, to seize the occasion of this anniversary to ratify the Protocol to the African Charter on the Rights of Women in Africa and thus affirm their commitments to respecting the rights of women.


** Algeria, Botswana, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo-Brazzaville, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Niger, Saharawi Arabic Democratic Republic, Sao Tome et Principe, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Swaziland, Tunisia, Uganda


*** Femmes Africa Solidarités (FAS), Women in Law in South Africa (WLSA), African Center for Democracy and Human Rights Studies (ACDHRS), Women in Law and Development in Africa (WILDAF) et Women's aid Collective (WACOL)

Monday 6 April 2009

Chad: Fighting violence against women, but how?

GUELENDENG/N'DJAMENA, 3 April 2009 (IRIN) - Awa was killed by her husband last November in Guelendeng, 150km south of the Chad capital N’djamena. Her death was the tipping point for the town’s women, who, appalled by the rampant violence they face, have decided to fight for their rights.

In December dozens of women took part in a protest march, the first of its kind in Guelendeng, to condemn the violation of their rights and to call the government to account over the impunity that prevails.

Murders, beatings, underage marriage, sexual violence – the list of violations is long. "There have been so many cases of violence that we can no longer sit and do nothing,” Catherine Ndaokaï, information and awareness officer for the Violence Against Women Monitoring Committee, told IRIN. “This violence is so widespread that men even sit around and chat about it.”

Involvement in the march posed a threat for many participants, said Martine Klah, president of the monitoring committee that was created the day after the march "so that the movement does not stop here".

In this region where men are traditionally seen as the "dominant ones", Klah said, “Men told us that they were going to kill us one by one for having held that march.”

Cultural beliefs constitute one of the greatest obstacles to fighting the violence, the women said. "Women are at the bottom of the (social) ladder and are seen as property", said Delphine Kemneloum Djiraibe, national coordinator of the Monitoring Committee to Call for Peace and National Reconciliation in Chad. "People can do whatever they want to a woman.”

The prevailing context of violence in a country where attacks on civilians by armed groups and general instability have been the norm for decades has undoubtedly exacerbated violence against women, human rights activists say.

"Men say that women are behind the (violent attacks), but back in the time of our grandparents people did not kill each other,” information officer Ndaokaï said "Even if a women was caught (doing something wrong), a man would have just got rid of her."

photo_Chad.jpg
Women in Chad face considerable obstacles in fighting sexual violence

Legal gaps

The women of Guelendeng recognise there is a lack of support for victims of abuse. "We don’t know the basic legal documentation to defend the rights of women," monitoring committee president Klah said.

Chad has laws on the books, including on reproductive health, but the implementing decrees were never published, rights activists say. A Family Code bill, drawn up several years ago still has not gone through Parliament. Human rights activists say the delay is due to conservatives who think the law gives women too much power.

In the meantime magistrates are attempting to use existing documentation from the Penal Code, such as sections relating to ‘bodily harm’, Lydie Asngar Mbaiassem Latoï, director of the promotion of women and gender integration unit at the Ministry of Social Affairs, told IRIN.

But existing legal remedies are inadequate, women say. The gaps and the prevailing tendency for impunity mean that the perpetrators of this violence are almost never prosecuted – and men know this, which encourages them to continue these acts, Larlem Marie, President of APLFT, an organisation promoting basic rights in Chad, told IRIN.

"Recently a man who wanted to attack his wife told her he could kill her because either way he would get away with it,” Larlem said. “He pointed to a case in which a man killed his wife without the slightest repercussion,” she told IRIN.

Women often fail to file a complaint because they are terrified of retaliation. Djiraibe pointed out that even were a woman to pursue a case, she would have nowhere to go to be safe from her attacker, as no facilities are available for victims of violence, particularly domestic violence.

“There is opposition to (creating facilities of this kind) on the grounds that it encourages women to leave their homes,” she said. “So there is no alternative (to the conjugal home); if women (lodge a complaint) they will end up on the streets.”

photo_Chad_2.jpg
Habiba, now 16, lives in fear that her husband will kill her

Widespread violence

While Guelendeng’s women are speaking out, many more women around the country suffer in silence, rights activists say. Humanitarian and human rights organisations report that the phenomenon is widespread but a lack of studies makes it difficult to determine the extent.

The Social Affairs Ministry plans to launch a nationwide survey this year that will in part measure the extent of violence against women, with support from UNFPA, according to Mbaiassem Latoï. And the ministry and UNFPA are working on a free helpline connected to the police, aimed at giving victims legal and medical help.

Aid workers say it is an issue that demands immediate action. "There is no sense of urgency even though we are facing a growing level of violence and there are more and more reports of feelings of insecurity,” said Marzio Babille, UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) representative in Chad.

Human rights activists say support from the authorities is critical to protecting women’s rights. The women of Guelendeng said they are fortunate in this respect. "We can go and see the (regional) prefect if we have a problem; he listens to us and supports us,” said one of the women.

Gabdibe Passore Ouadjiri Loth, the prefect, has been involved in several human rights cases and has links with the Ministry of the Interior and the presidency. "If a man will not protect his own mother, whom will he protect?" he said. But he recognised that the country was still run by “male chauvinists”.

The Ministry of Social Affairs’Mbaiassem Latoï said: “Things are moving forward slowly but surely. Everything is under construction: laws, policies.”

She added: “The (economic and security) crisis has turned everything upside down: many women have become heads of households and men are realising that they should not neglect them. This awakening has not reached its peak, but it will come. Either way, civil society will not stop".

Source: humanitarian news and analysis, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 06.04.09 Read full article