Call for support Justice for Suja Jones for taking on French Husband and Child X

Suja Jones, an Indian woman, has taken her French husband to court in the city of Bangalore, India, on charges of rape of their then 3 year-old daughter.
She is fighting a lonely battle.
The French authorities provided continued unilateral support to the accused, an employee at the French consulate in Bangalore, leaving the mother of three minor French citizens alone to fend for them.
The French media have given a very biased coverage of this case, based on the allegations of the accused father.
This undeniably added an unnecessary hardship on the already deeply wounded mother and children.
We, the undersigned, express our deep concern at the role and attitude of French authorities in this case, which has in many respects impeded and violated the right of the child to be protected and defended.
On the eve of the trial due to start on March 22, we express our solidarity with the 3 year old victim and support her mother in the defence of the child’s rights.
Background Information :
For a comprehensive account of the role of French authorities as well as local Bangalore police, see Suja Jones’ appeal to the women assembled in New York during the March 2013 session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), devoted this year to violence against women.
This appeal was widely circulated to women’s organisations worldwide during the CSW and beyond.
Several actions were undertaken to demand from France a more ethical attitude in this case :
President Hollande during his February 2013 visit to New Delhi was requested to grant equal treatment to both parties, after his services received the lawyers of the accused at the Elysée Palace.
In a letter dated February 10, 2013, attention of the Minister of Women’s Rights in Paris, France, was drawned to actions of French diplomatic representation in India in support of the accused employee, juxtaposed with a campaign of harassment and slander against the mother.
The Minister was made aware of the following actions by senior French officials in India, who

helped empty the joint account of the couple by cashing cheques emitted by the accused father from his jail ti teh benefit of the deputee consul, leaving Suja Jones and the three children without means of subsistence ;
still retain the passports of the French children of the couple, upon request of the accused father, in blatant disregard for the Indian court’s decision to grant temporary custody to the mother while the case is pending in court ; this also contravenes the obligation under French law for every French citizen to carry identity documents;
stood by the father in court while ignoring the presence of the mother and her lawyers ;
pretend that this is a marital dispute not a rape case, although no divorce case has been filed till date;
did not respond positively to any of the requests by the mother for financial and legal help.
Demands for clarification on France’s representatives’ wrong doings were also sent to the Ministries of Home Affairs and of Foreign Affairs.
While the Ministry of Women’s Rights and the Ministry of Home Affairs simply ignored the letters and demands for clarification, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs maintained that this was a case of marital dispute, and justified the actions taken by France’s representatives in India.
Taken to task by several individuals and women’s organisations in France, the French Consular authorities now undertake to prove their concern for the very children they deprived of means of subsistance and of identity documents, by further harassing their mother, for instance by sending her surprise visits by the Child Protection services, as if she were the accused in the case.
Meanwhile, the French media, ignoring early medical reports and other experts’ testimonies, have presented a totally one sided picture of the case, just highlighting the point of view of the accused.
And men’s rights groups in India are at the forefront of supporting the accused father.
On February 23, 2013 an ad hoc support committee was formed, which called on French women organisations to openly question the role of France in this case.
The ad-hoc support committee also provided full information on the case to the Special UN Rapporteur on Violence Against women and to members of the Indian delegation to the CSW.
Meanwhile, in Bangalore, it seems that pressure was put on medical doctors to revise their earlier conclusions on the reality of the rape, and on witnesses to withdraw their testimonies.
Moreover, it seems that some evidence has gone missing from the file, including police record of the first interrogation of the child.
DNA swabs taken on the abused child on the day of the last rape incident are now missing : DNA tests produced before the court do not carry either the DNA of the father or that of the child.
The accused father filed for his immediate release, stating that the results of DNA tests demonstrate that he is not implicated in the crime ; he also filed for custody of the children.
In wake of numerous wrongdoings and irregularities, as well as the absence of adequate and sufficient reaction from French authorities,
we call on women and human rights organisations to join us and widely support our solidarity campaign for justice for Suja Jones and Child X.
initiated by:


Secularism Is A Women’s Issue (
Espace Femmes International (EFI)
Women’s Initiative for Citizenship and Universal Rights (WICUR)
Groupe de recherche sur les femmes et les lois au Sénégal
South Asia Citizens Web (
Praja Rajakiya Vedike (

Marieme Helie Lucas, Algeria / France
Rina Nissim, Switzerland
Lalia Ducos, Algeria / France
Harsh Kapoor
Fatou Sow, sociologue, présidente du groupe de recherche sur les femmes et les lois au Sénégal
Codou Bop, journaliste, coordonnatrice du groupe de recherche sur les femmes et les lois au Sénégal
We request all to endorse and sign our call for solidarity at:


An Irresistible Force for Women’s Rights- IWHC

We did it!
After two weeks of fierce negotiations at the United Nations’ annual Commission on the Status of Women, on March 15 more than 130 governments committed to ending violence against women and girls, and reached strong agreements to promote gender equality and ensure access to sexual and reproductive health services.
The International Women’s Health Coalition and our amazing partners from around the world came out in force to the UN for the negotiations. Our agenda was clear: push governments to commit to concrete strategies to empower women and girls and end gender-based violence. We would not be silenced. We would not be denied our rights.
We met with instant opposition from conservative governments. Countries such as Iran, Russia, Egypt, and Syria joined with the Vatican to use culture and religion as arguments to deny women their rights. But there can be no excuse to justify violence against women. Consensus was finally reached to loud applause from supportive governments such as the U.S., South Africa, Uruguay, Argentina, Turkey, the Philippines, Norway, Denmark, and even the small island of Tonga! As the document was adopted, hundreds of women’s rights activists streamed into the negotiating room to join in the cheers.
The Commission has released 17 pages of agreed conclusions, which build on the global momentum of the past 20 years and represent an important step forward for women and girls. For the first time at the UN, governments reached consensus that survivors of rape are entitled to emergency contraception to prevent unwanted pregnancy, and to timely and respectful forensic exams to support prosecution. They called for an end to child marriages. They agreed women’s right to control their sexuality is essential to preventing further violence. And they recognized the role that evidence-based sexuality education can play in reducing the harmful gender stereotypes that lead to violence.
Once again, we women have shown we’re an irresistible force. But our work is far from over. Now we must be vigilant to ensure that the agreements made at the UN are put into practice in local communities worldwide. For that to happen, women’s groups must be supported to hold their own leaders to account.
Please consider supporting us generously so we can continue our work at the global level and in countries around the world.
Thank you,
Françoise Girard
President, International Women’s Health Coalition
 Follow me on Twitter@francoisegirard


Muslim Brotherhood opposes UN declaration on #VAW #WTFnews

Egyptian rulers reject idea of equality as undermining family values


Egyptian women on the streets in Port Said. Groups claim women have been attacked while on demonstrations in order to discourage them from taking part. Photograph: Ed Giles/Getty Images

Muslim Brotherhood has held up finalisation and promulgation of a UN document dealing with violence against women, claiming it violates Islamic law, principles and traditions and undermines family values.

The draft text, due to be issued by the UN Commission on the Status of Women today, calls for the “elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls”.

The Brotherhood contests provisions on sexual abuse, sexual rights, sexual health and the right of women to control their sexuality. Specifically, it opposes provisions calling for equal inheritance rights, equality within the family, raising the legal age for marriage and granting permission for Muslim women to marry non-Muslims.

The movement also objects to permitting Muslim women to travel, work and use contraception without the approval of male relatives. It argues the document is “deceitful” because it would give women the choice of abortion “under the guise of sexual and reproductive rights”.

Adoption of the document would “lead to social disintegration”, the Brotherhood claims. It said in a statement: “The Muslim Brotherhood calls on leaders of Islamic countries, their foreign ministers and representatives in the Un ited Nations to reject and condemn this document.”
Since it rules Egypt, the most populous Arab country, the Brotherhood wields considerable influence with Muslim governments. On the issue of women’s rights, it has also secured the backing of RussiaPoland and the Vatican.

On the issues of sexual freedom, abortion and homosexuality, conservative Muslims and Christians have made common cause for years.

Sexual harassment, rape and assaults against women have increased in Egypt since the fall of president Hosni Mubarak two years ago, prompting criticism of presidentMohamed Morsi and his government for failing to tackle the phenomenon.

Women’s groups contend attacks during demonstrations against Brotherhood policies are being carried out with the aim of ending women’s participation. At least 29 assaults by gangs of men were reported on January 25th, during a rally in Cairo marking the anniversary of the 2011 uprising.

World Bank report said that up to 70 per cent of women suffer violence in their lifetime, and that women aged 15-44 are “more at risk from domestic violence than from cancer, car accidents, war and malaria”.

The most common form of violence committed against women is physical abuse including beatings and rape by a partner.


read more-


International Womens Day- Statement on alarming trends in Negotiations of UN Document

English: Emblem of the United Nations. Color i...






We, the undersigned organisations and individuals across the globe, are again alarmed and disappointed that the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is wavering in its commitment to advance women’s human rights as demonstrated in the constant negotiation of the language in the outcome document continues. On the occasion of celebrating the International Women’s Day we call on the states to reaffirm its commitment to agreed upon standards in promoting women’s human rights as articulated in the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the International Conference on Population and Development Programme of Action as well as other international humanitarian and human rights law. We say NO to any re-opening of negotiations on the already established international agreements on women’s human rights and call on all governments to demonstrate their commitments to promote, protect and fulfill human rights and fundamental freedoms of women. It is alarming that states are continuing to negotiate established standards that they themselves have agreed to as we are witnessing in the last few days of negotiation. Considering the lack of an outcome document last year we hope that this is not the pattern when it comes to advancing women’s human rights agenda. Women’s human rights are not to be negotiated away. Similar to last year, we strongly hold the position that given the progressive development in the international era on standard setting there should no longer be any contention on any issues related to the definition and intersectionality of women and girls experiencing violence against women, including in relations to sexual and reproductive health and rights, sexual orientation and gender identity, harmful practices perpetuated in the context of negative culture and traditions, among others. We remind states that the CSW is the principal global policy-making body dedicated exclusively to gender equality and advancement of women with the sole aim of promoting women’s rights in political, economic, civil, social and educational fields. Its mandate is to ensure the full implementation of existing international agreements on women’s human rights and gender equality. We strongly demand all governments and the international community to reject any attempt to invoke traditional values or morals to infringe upon human rights guaranteed by international law, nor to limit their scope. Customs, tradition or religious considerations must not be tolerated to justify discrimination and violence against women and girls whether committed by State authorities or by non-state actors. Given the current global activism around violence against women it is imperative that member states take the lead is agreeing on a progressive outcome document that reaffirms its commitments to universal human rights standards. This is an important moment as we are planning the post 2015 process. The outcome document has to advance women’s human rights and not lower the bar for women’s human rights. Future international negotiations must move forward implementation of policies and programmes that secure the human rights of girls and women.
We call upon the member states of the UN and the various UN human rights and development entities to recognise and support the important role of women’s groups and organisations working at the forefront of challenging traditional values and practices that are intolerant to fundamental human rights norms, standards and principles.
Drafted by:
Center for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL)
International Women’s Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific (IWRAW Asia Pacific)
Endorsed by: Amnesty International ANIS – Institute of Bioethics, Human Rights and Gender – Brazil
Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD) Asia Safe Abortion Partnership Fiji Women’s Rights Movement Namibia Women’s Health Network Rutgers WPF, Netherland Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO) Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights (WGNRR)









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