New Delhi: By effectively tracking violence against the fair sex, the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), a conglomerate of national Parliaments across the world, intends to publicly "shame and blame" such nations where women are targeted for different reasons and make them accountable.
Here to attend the regional seminar for Asian Parliaments on "Preventing and Responding to Violence against Women and Girls: From Legislation to Effective Enforcement" in the Parliament, IPU President Theo-Ben Gurirab said the body would evolve mechanisms to track violence against women and girls in various nations and hold those countries accountable where women are targeted for different reasons.
Gurirab, who hails from Namibia, said, "We (the IPU) want to be able to have a way to do the same oversight globally as we do at home with respect to violence against women and girls, particularly to find a way to track across the world instances of women being targeted because of the way they dress up."
He said, "Once we have the outcomes from different countries, we want to shame and blame those that target women. We want to be able to accuse such countries by reporting their performance on this issue in our open sessions. We want to be able to know to accuse such nations and hold them to account.”
"Just like we report victimisation of Parliamentarians in an open session, we wish to publicly shame such nations that target women," he added.
The IPU President said the Union would like to increase ways to monitor violence against women and ascertain whether "it is a way of life in some nations". Gurirab said they will also try to find out if women were being victimised in some countries because of political tolerance.
The IPU Chief also sought more empowerment of women by giving them top jobs which display their leadership skills and not just "soft ones" within the Government. "They should not just be numbers," he said.
"We have been persistent in ensuring and constantly reminding political parties and countries to create space for women to fully participate in governance, not just as members of Cabinet handling soft portfolios but also for their involvement in ministries that generate wealth like trade, industry and finance," he said.
He also stressed on the fact that Parliamentarians must work not just to make laws, debate and pass them, but even to enforce them. "They must report on the outcome of such laws and ensure whether perpetrators of violence against women are being brought to justice", he said.
Lamenting that many nations still had to work on the issue of granting equal status to women, the IPU Chief favoured greater women representation in Parliaments.
He noted that the South Africa sub-region has 25 percent women participation, against the global average of 19 per cent women representation in Parliament.
Rwanda, a small East African nation, he said, has 60 percent participation of women in Parliament, while lamenting that many developed and developing nations are still far behind.
"Although Asia has produced more women as Presidents and Prime Ministers, we would like to see more women in Asian Parliaments as also more women as heads of Parliamentary
Committees," he said, adding that, "We also would like to see women take as Chairperson of IPU".