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Religions unite to end violence against women

14 June 2006

BRUSSELS — Representatives of six religious faiths want to join forces to combat violence against women.

The representatives jointly signed in Brussels on Wednesday a declaration from Amnesty International condemning violence against women.

The intention now is to spread the message among various faiths. Religious and spiritual leaders hope to create debate within their community.

Figures indicate that at least one-third of women are either beaten, sexually assaulted or psychologically abused at some stage of their life. Every two seconds, a woman somewhere across the globe is abused.

Amnesty International stresses that violence against women is currently the world’s greatest human rights scandal.

To stamp out violence against woman, Amnesty has now called in the help of religious and spiritual leaders, news service VRT reported.

And Belgian Roman Catholic, Protestants, Orthodox, Muslims and Jews signed a joint declaration on Wednesday condemning violence against women.

The deputy chairwoman of the Muslim Executive, Duzgun Hacer, referred to a comment from the prophet Mohammed: “The best among you are those who are best for your women”.

She said the Islamic prophet was saying that to be a perfect Muslim, people had to be good to women.

In Belgium, one in five women is the victim of domestic violence. Household violence in Europe is the most common cause of death of women between the ages of 16 and 44.
The central theme of the statement signed in Brussels on Wednesday is that violence against women is unacceptable and must be exiled.

But Amnesty International previously launched a worldwide campaign in 2004 in a bid to end violence against women.

The human rights organisation demanded the abolition of anti-women laws, urging also for new legislation that offered better protection for women from and the punishment of culprits.
Amnesty also wants to force countries to abide by international laws protecting women and to actively investigate and punish crimes of violence.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Belgian news