Wien, 25. November 2010 Press release

Spindelegger: “Violence against women as well as suppression of women should be ostracised internationally”

Foreign Minister on International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

Vienna, 25 November 2010 – “Over the past two years we have used our membership in the UN Security Council to advocate, among other issues, the implementation of Resolution 1325 “Women, Peace, Security” as well as subsequent resolutions. In these resolutions we not only demand  the protection of women  in conflict and post conflict situations, but also women’s active involvement in peace processes and the post – conflict institution building”, stated Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November 2010.

As early as 2007, Austria was among the first countries to adopt an action plan for the implementation of Resolution 1325, which comprises practical projects for the support of women. In northern Uganda, for instance, women are trained to participate in local politics and administration either as elected representatives or as technically skilled staff. “Women represent 50 per cent of society. Peace, security and progress are not possible in the long run if one half of society is not allowed to make a contribution. Throughout the world, women must be able to determine their lives, free from suppression and violence, and must be allowed to participate in political decisions”, continued the Foreign Minister. Equality of men and women is therefore a core principle of projects supported by the Austrian Development Agency.

“Over the past ten years a lot has been done at the international level in order to help women to assert their rights. Three out of eight UN Millennium Development Goals are related to women. Austria will therefore continue to be committed to ensure that women enjoy equal rights at all levels of cooperation”, asserted Spindelegger. Change is often bought about by small steps. In Albania, for instance, Austria supports specially trained staff among local authorities in providing information on suitable measures to prevent discrimination against women, stop domestic violence and help victims. Albania, too, passed a law on the equality of men and women two years ago.

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