Italy must urgently act to end violence against women UN rights expert

Rashida Manjoo, the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, wrapped up a 12-day visit to the Mediterranean country during which she focused on instances of violence against women in four specific areas – the home, the community, violence perpetrated or condoned by the state, and violence in the transnational context. During the visit, Ms. Manjoo met survivors of domestic violence in various anti-violence shelters located in the country’s major cities, such as Rome, Milan, Bologna and Naples. Her trip also included stops in camps for Roma and Sinti communities as well as detention centres for irregular migrants.“Most manifestations of violence are under-reported in the context of a family-oriented and patriarchal society where domestic violence is not always perceived as a crime, there is economic dependency, and there are perceptions that the state response to such complaints will not be appropriate or helpful,” Ms. Manjoo noted. She also added that a fragmented legal framework, inadequate investigation of and punishment for perpetrators, and poor compensation for women victims of violence, also contributes to the silencing and invisibility surrounding this issue as do systemic, structural inequalities and discrimination which ultimately facilitate violence against women. Despite the multiple forms of violence and discrimination faced by minority women in both private and public sectors, Ms. Manjoo emphasized that Italy retains a vast amount of expertise regarding the provision of legal, social, psychological and economic assistance to women victims of violence and that such a framework should not be lost in the tenuous economic climate. “I call on all relevant stakeholders to take on the responsibility at this crucial time to promote human rights for all, and most importantly, to keep the issue of violence against women on the national agenda,” said Ms. Manjoo. The expert will present the findings of her mission to Italy at the June 2012 session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland. 27 January 2012Italy must do more to protect women from violence and urgently address the underlying structural causes of gender inequality and discrimination, an independent United Nations human rights expert warned after visiting the country. read more

Read More »

Sitdown Sunday 7 deadly reads

first_img4. Lone soldiers A picture hangs in the room of Israeli soldiers who were wounded during fighting in Gaza, at Soroka hospital in Beer Sheva, southern Israel Source: AP/Press Association ImagesAnna Tinsley talked to ‘lone soldiers’, Jewish men who travelled to Israel to join the IDF, about their lives.(Star Telegram, approx 6 minutes reading time, words)Their beliefs are so strong that they are willing to fight — and die, if necessary, as a Texas man recently did — to protect the Jewish state. They are the Lone Soldiers. In Israel, young men and women have no choice but to join the military. 5. Faked violence?A reporter accuses the New York Times of faking photos of Gaza casualties. But he’s wrong. James Fallows looks at what this tells us about reporting and truth in the Middle East.(The Atlantic, approx 10 minutes reading time, 1910 words)Reporters have different interests and styles and predilections, different strengths and weaknesses, different stories of having ended up in this craft. But there is one thing they—we—have in common. It is the fundamental drive that makes us stick with this odd line of work, the usually unspoken but immensely powerful source of pride in what we do. It is summed up by three words: I saw this.6. Why were so many civilians killed in Gaza violence? Men assess the damage after a rocket fired from Gaza landed in the middle of a residential neighborhood in the city of Kiryat Gat, Israel Source: AP/Press Association ImagesMore than 1200 people have been killed in the recent Israel-Gaza violence, the vast majority of these being civilians, particularly on the Gaza side. Why is this so? Max Fisher investigates:(Vox, approx 12 minutes reading time, 2445 words)On the one hand, Hamas appears to be at best indifferent to the fact that, by firing rockets from heavily civilian areas, it knowingly invites or even desires Israeli strikes that will kill civilians. (Hamas is frequently accused of using civilians as human shields for this reason.) On the other, the plain truth is that Israeli bombs are causing most of the civilian deaths.…AND A CLASSIC FROM THE ARCHIVES… FIle: Photographs and other memorabilia from holocaust survivor Maurice Deluty’s youth cover the table at his home in New York. Deluty’s parents and sister were killed in the Holocaust. Source: AP/Press Association ImagesIn 2013, Marisa L Berman met the children and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors, who are helping to keep their legacy alive, whether through art or other means.(Narratively, approx 14 minutes reading time, 2924 words)Elena Berkovits was only 16 years old when she first came face to face with Dr. Josef Mengele in the Nazi extermination camp at Auschwitz. Mengele, or the “White Angel,” as inmates called him due to his white lab coat, was one of the medical personnel who would inspect people as they arrived. His motioning, left or right, would indicate if he deemed a person strong enough to work and therefore to live another day, or if they would be consigned to immediate death.More: The best reads from every previous Sitdown Sunday >The Sports Pages – the best sports writing collected every week by TheScore.ie > IT’S A DAY of rest, and you may be in the mood for a quiet corner and a comfy chair.We’ve hand-picked the week’s best reads for you to savour.This week, all of the recent articles reference the ongoing Gaza conflict in some way, aiming to show the different aspects to what is occurring. Our ‘classic’ article looks at the Holocaust. If you have any other longreads or explainers about the conflict that you think are of interest, please add them in the comments for other readers.1. What exactly is happening in Gaza? An Israeli tank advances in a staging area near the Israel Gaza border Source: AP/Press Association ImagesIf you have questions about the current conflict in Gaza, this explainer by Paul Hosford should help you out.(TheJournal.ie, approx 9 minutes reading time, 1907 words) The problem with Palestinian land nowadays is that it is actually two tracts of land on opposite sides of Israel. Confusingly, the West Bank is in the east of the country (it is on the western bank of the River Jordan) and the Gaza Strip is in the west, on the Mediterranean Sea.2. Gaza and Punishment Source: AP/Press Association ImagesRashid Khalidi believes that the current unrest in Gaza is due to a ‘collective punishment’ of Palestinians. This is one of the week’s most popular New Yorker articles:(The New Yorker, approx 5 minutes reading time, 1073 words)We might not like Hamas or some of its methods, but that is not the same as accepting the proposition that Palestinians should supinely accept the denial of their right to exist as a free people in their ancestral homeland.3. Israel is not my birthrightDemonstrators hold Israeli flags and placards reading All United Against Terrorism and Hamas terrorist during a Pro Israel gathering near the Israeli Embassy in ParisSource: AP/Press Association ImagesShira Lipkin is a Jewish American who was raised to think that Israel “was ours by divine right”. But she finds her beliefs challenged by he current unrest.(Salon, approx 5 minutes reading time, 941 words)The history we are taught in our Sunday school is that we were there first, and that therefore the Palestinians are occupying our land. How long ago were we there, though? And who, exactly, iswe? I find myself using that we – “We need to stop bombing Palestine,” “we need to give land back,” but I am not Israeli. I have never been to Israel. This is how deep it runs, this idea of possession.last_img read more

Read More »