In times of crisis, the need for humanitarian aid and protection becomes prominent.
Rabat – The National Committee for International Humanitarian Law (CNDH) organized an international conference under the name of “Protecting Women in Humanitarian Crises.”
The conference took place on March 17, coinciding with the women’s history month and 9 days after International Women’s Rights Day.
Farida El Khamlichi explained that focusing on what women endure during armed conflicts, natural disasters, and health crises is the reason behind choosing the conference topic.
El Khamlichi made an important and essential point in her speech by questioning the effectiveness of today’s international humanitarian law.
“If international humanitarian law provides protection for women in armed conflicts, then what women are exposed to in those conflicts raises the question about the effectiveness of the provisions of international humanitarian law,” she voiced.
She stated that Morocco has been at the forefront of advocating for human rights nationally and internationally.
El Khamlichi expressed the CNDH’s aspirations “to contribute to the advancement of international humanitarian law by highlighting its rules directed at the protection of women.”
Omar Hilale, Morocco’s permanent representative to the UN, gave a speech to thank the CNDH for organizing a conference to discuss such an important topic.
“When the United Nations declared, 44 years ago, International Women’s Rights Day, the goal at that time was not simply to celebrate women or present roses to them, but rather to remind member states, every year, of the need to implement their obligations in order to protect and promote women’s rights and give all women the opportunity to unite their voices and defend their causes,” he said.
Hilale stated that gender inequality is still an issue all around the world. And it stands “in the way of achieving legitimate demands to guarantee women’s rights.”
The conference revolved around protecting women in humanitarian crises. Hilale expressed that women are still subject to sexual violence and abuse in many regions around the world.
Women are particularly in need of protection in regions of the world where terrorist activity is higher with the possibility of kidnapping.
Hilale evoked women who are victims of climate migration, vulnerable to transnational crime networks, or detained for decades in refugee camps.
Morocco’s Head of Government, Saad Eddine El Othmani, attended the conference and in his speech emphasized the urgency of protecting women during humanitarian crises.
In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the world needs to pay attention to the dire situation of women around the world.
As mentioned by Hilale, the UN secretary-general announced a global cease-fire on March 23 of last year, to pause all armed conflict, protect and provide humanitarian aid to the most vulnerable populations and “create the necessary conditions for a stronger response to the epidemic.”
The pandemic raised more concern for victims of armed conflicts, notably women and children. This conference took place to discuss and share the measures needed to end the struggle.