On August 18th, as part of the 13th Summit of Women Speakers of Parliament, the Virtual meeting discussing measures to abolish gender discrimination, sexual harassment and violence against women in parliaments and from all walks of life took place.
Statistics showed that one in every three women in the world had once suffered from physical or sexual violence. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic coupled with armed conflicts, insecurity and migration, women and girls are facing a higher risk of violence and abuse.
According to surveys released by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in 2016 and 2018, gender discrimination, harassment, and violence against women in parliaments have become more popular at different levels in all parts of the world.
Participants stressed that parliaments, as law-making bodies, need to make public and properly tackle these sensitive issues. To support the effort, the IPU has issued guidelines for the elimination of gender discrimination, harassment and violence against women.
They agreed a strong institutional framework and capable agencies are necessary to address the problems, adding that national assemblies and deputies should reinforce their monitoring function to ensure related laws and policies are effectively enforced.
They suggested parliaments continue completing their legal frameworks by building laws that include a comprehensive definition of sexual harassment; identification of violence behavours and their victims; criminalisation of all forms of sexual and gender violence; and victim protection measures.
The legislators underscored women’s role in eliminating violence against them in parliamentary and social activities. Female parliamentarians should be active in making recommendations on the matters and facilitating measures to fight them, they suggested.