‘Gender Apartheid’ in Afghanistan, DR Congo’s Rights Violations, Reforestation Critical to Climate Fight – Global Issues

Key international actors, including the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan, have used terms such as: “gender apartheid to describe the high level of discrimination.

“Gender apartheid is not just a theoretical possibility or legal construct, but a real threat and lived reality for millions of women and girls around the world.” in February.

Although there is currently no conventional legal framework in Afghanistan, a series of written and oral decrees issued by the actual authorities have forcibly restricted the freedoms of women and girls.

UN women calls for immediate global action to end the injustice.

Increasing oppression

The decrees, based on the Taliban’s interpretation of Islamic law, dictate women’s clothing, strictly restrict their freedom of movement, and restrict access to education and professional opportunities, effectively eliminating their voices from public spaces.

Only one percent of Afghan women feel they have influence in their community, and 18 percent say they have not had any encounters with women outside their immediate family in the past three months.

“Women want the right to make decisions, not only at home, but also in government and other areas. They want an education. They want to work. They want their rights,” a 26-year-old Afghan woman told UN Women.

This discrimination will have inevitable long-term consequences. For example the ban on education for girls is interrelated with a 25 percent increase in child marriage and a 45 percent increase in early childhood.

UN Women gender profile shows that omitting 1.1 million girls from school and excluding more than 100,000 women from college correlates with an increased risk of maternal mortality by at least 50 percent.

Rights violations against civilians remain widespread in eastern DR Congo

Human rights violations in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) remain widespread in the country’s war-torn east.

That’s the worrying finding from a new report from the UN refugee agency, UNHCRwho said on Monday that children have been killed, kidnapped, sexually abused and exploited by armed groups in North Kivu province.

In May, the agency recorded 164 alerts involving children; almost 90 percent took place in combat zones, including Goma-Nyiragongo.

The clashes are becoming more intense

UNHCR noted that an intensification of clashes in Masisi and Rutshuru, together with attacks on civilians in Beni, has driven more than 250,000 people from their homes and shelters.

Those who are displaced and return to their homes are the most common victims of rights violations, with the areas of Masisi, Beni and Rutshuru most affected.

The UN agency said the increase in abuse since April was likely due to fighting between the armed group M23 and rival allied democratic forces in southeastern Masisi and northern Rutshuru.

Since May 27, the UN mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) has conducted more than 50 patrols to protect civilians and secure routes from Kilambo, Mirangui, Kanyabayonga, Kania and Kirumba to IDP camps.

The mission has recently strengthened its presence in the area in response to large-scale displacement, UN spokesman Stéphane Dujarric said in his briefing at UN headquarters on Monday.

As part of its mandate to support disarmament, demobilization and reintegration efforts, MONUSCO has facilitated the repatriation of six former combatants, including one woman, to various locations in North Kivu.

Climate action plans fall short on forests, UNEP warns

Despite global commitments to end deforestation by 2030, only eight of the top 20 countries that are the fastest to clear trees have quantifiable targets in their National Climate Action Plans (NDCs), the UN Environment Program (UNEP) warned Monday.

That’s according to the UN REDD report on accelerating climate action to protect global forest cover, which is a key part of efforts to sequester carbon and slow global warming.

The report reveals a major gap in forest protection, management and restoration in the current NDCs, which set out plans to adapt and mitigate climate change.

Falling short

Pledges made between 2017 and 2023 fall short of the global ambition to halt and reverse deforestation, UNEP said.

Forests have the potential to contribute up to a third of the emissions reductions needed to close the mitigation gap by 2030.

Although eleven of the NDCs include targets related to tree replacement or reforestation, mitigating the effects of climate change first requires reducing deforestation, as it takes many years to capture the carbon lost.

UNEP said it is critical for NDCs to integrate existing national strategies to curb emissions from deforestation, which 15 of the 20 countries surveyed have adopted.

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