To commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November Günter Nooke, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office, issued the following statement today (24 November):
"Violence against women is one of the most severe violations of human rights: it directly harms human dignity and the physical and mental integrity of the women and girls affected. Too many times, these cases go unnoticed and all too often the victims are powerless to resist the perpetrators. This applies particularly to armed conflicts.
Particularly the fate of many women and girls in Africa gives us considerable cause for concern. This has long been the case in eastern Congo, where children and women of all ages are being abused and raped on a daily basis. The United Nations Human Rights Council therefore needs to deal with the situation in eastern Congo in a special session as quickly as possible.
I welcome the fact that the EU will soon adopt guidelines for countering violence against women. This will be an important step for EU external relations. I call on other countries to take similarly concrete steps to eliminate violence against women."