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Objections From Vatican, Iran, Russia Threatening CSW Document

“Halfway into their two-week annual meeting, delegates to the Commission on the Status of Women fear they will not be able to agree on a final communiqué, just like last year,” a New York Times editorial writes. “Delegates and activists are pointing fingers at the Vatican, Iran and Russia for trying to eliminate language in a draft communiqué asserting that the familiar excuses — religion, custom, tradition — cannot be used by governments to duck their obligation to eliminate violence,” the editorial continues, adding, “They have also objected to references to abortion rights, as well as language suggesting that rape also includes forcible behavior by a woman’s husband or partner.”

“In any case, the suggestion that traditional values justify the violation of basic human rights is spurious,” the editorial states. “Gender-based violence is an epidemic,” the New York Times continues, noting, “A World Bank report estimated that more women between the ages of 15 and 44 were at risk from rape and domestic violence than from cancer, car accidents, war and malaria combined.” The editorial concludes, “Women in all social, economic, ethnic and religious groups are affected. The conference will be a failure if it cannot produce ambitious global standards that will deliver concrete results to protect women and girls” (3/11).

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