Side Event: Ambassador Berger on the campaign “Cartas de Mujeres"
(Remarks as delivered by Ambassador Berger at a side-event to the 57th session of the Committee on the Status of Women, hosted by the German Mission in cooperation with UN Women and the Peruvian Ministry for Women and Vulnerable Minorities: “Cartas de Mujeres/Letters from Women")
“Ladies and gentlemen, dear colleagues
It is my honor to welcome you to the German House today for the side event “Cartas des Mujeres / Letters from Women”.
Ladies and gentlemen,
In 2000, the then General Secretary of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, said of violence against women: “It knows no boundaries of geography, culture or wealth. As long as it continues, we cannot claim to be making real progress towards equality, development and peace.”
Unfortunately, the words of Mr. Annan haven’t lost their relevance. Violence against women, at home, at work, in school or on the street exists here and now.
Human rights are a leading principle of global development politics, especially for Germany. They are the universal basis for a life of dignity, equality and freedom. Human rights are indivisible and apply to women, men and children alike. Violence against women is a violation of these principles. It hampers equality, development and a self-determined life. Germanyadvocates for the prevention, reduction and elimination of violence against women and girls.
In line with the UN Human Rights Treaty, CEDAW and the European and national policies combating violence against women, we oppose gender-based violence. It is not only a hindrance to an individual’s development or to the family, but also to societies and states.
Only when women’s rights are respected and they can unconditionally and actively exercise these rights access to education, justice, economic participation, as well as social inclusion can be realized. This is particularly true for indigenous, poor and rural women.
To achieve our goals of preventing, combating and finally, eliminating violence against women, we need innovation, creativity, responsibility and constructive cooperation among different actors in society. Dialogue, exchanging experiences and learning from each other are of the utmost importance.
The Latin American awareness raising campaign “Cartas de Mujeres” is a vivid example of innovative participation of a wide variety of societal actors, of the coordination between development agencies and, most of all, of achieved impacts. It brings the issue of violence against women into the public spotlight and picks up on the topic of this year’s Commission on the Status of Women.
“Cartas de Mujeres” began in Quito, Ecuadorin 2011 as a cooperation between UN Women, the City of Quitoand the Deutsche Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). Its success lead to its replication in the city of Guayaquil / Ecuadorund Peru.
We are pleased to have Dr. Marcela Huaita, Mr. Norman Wray and Ms. Tarcila Rivera here with us today to share their insights on the concrete impacts of the campaigns in Ecuadorand Peru.
The example of “Cartas de Mujeres” is proof that it is worth it to seek out new avenues in preventing violence against women. We invite everyone – women, men, girls and boys – to join this campaign. Your participation is important; your participation will make change happen.
Each of us, in our respective lives, can take responsibility and become actively involved. German development cooperation takes this step by working together with strategically important partners. In this case, the Ministry of Women and Social Development in Peru, civil society organizations like Chirapaq and the National Platform for Women’s Rights, the city administration of Quito, Lima and Guayaquil and, last but not least, UN Women! Thank you all very much!
Thank you for your attention!”