Wendy Patten, the Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office on Gender Issues, in her report to the OSCE Permanent Council in Vienna on 1 December 2011 stressed a need for effective implementation of legislation to combat domestic and other gender-based violence.
“Adopting legislation, while essential, is not enough,” she said. “The challenge is to realize the promise of anti-domestic violence legislation on the ground, in the daily lives of women.” Enforcement of protection orders and prosecution of domestic violence crimes, as well as access to legal and social services for survivors are basis for the effective implementation of legislation, Patten stressed.
She presented her activities in 2011 as well as about visits to OSCE participating States to meet high-level officials and participate in a number of events.
Given the cross-cutting nature of women, peace and security issues, Patten said, the OSCE should continue to provide support for the implementation of the relevant UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR 1325), including through the development and implementation of national action plans.
Speaking about migration posing challenges in countries throughout the OSCE region, Patten stressed the need for gender-sensitive migration policies addressing the particular needs of women from diverse backgrounds, including migrant and refugee women.
She emphasized the need for the OSCE participants to take additional steps to eliminate barriers to women’s political participation, and to do more to improve gender equality within the OSCE itself.
A decision on women’s economic empowerment which could be taken by the OSCE Ministerial Council in Vilnius on 6-7 December, “would help to promote equal opportunity for women in the economic sphere and foster concrete steps by participating States to advance this vital objective and would be an important anti-discrimination initiative”, Patten underlined.