Women's rights are being curtailed in Mali: DSGListen /
Sexual violence against women is widespread in Mali. Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson at a meeting of the Security Council on Women, Peace and Security, recounted the acute challenges which he saw women facing in times of crisis and conflict in Mali.
"They told me disturbing accounts of the abuses women face in the northern part of the country now under extremists' rule and occupation. Sexual violence against women is widespread, and I met women who had been raped. Despite being the primary victims of a combined security, political and humanitarian crisis, they remain excluded from the various bodies seeking possible solutions. They urged me to make known to the outside world the need not only to ease their suffering, but to strengthen women's participation in resolving the crisis and preparing for a better future."
Deputy Secretary-General Eliasson says women's rights are being dramatically curtailed, including their right to work, rendering them unable to sustain themselves or their families. But, he says women in Mali and across West Africa are strong and resilient. They have already demonstrated their ability, if given a chance, to bring about peace, reconciliation and development.
Donn Bobb, United Nations