Statement of the FEMED on International Women's Day

On International Women’s Day, we remember all the women who have been victims of enforced disappearance. Those who have disappeared and all mothers, daughters, wives and sisters who have lost a loved one and bear the burden of an enforced disappearance.

After the disappearance of a family member, women are too often left abandoned, carrying the weight of their sadness while holding on to the hope of ever seeing their loved one again. By stripping them of their right to know, the state has denied them access to justice, and by the same token, any possibility of mourning. In the case of enforced disappearances, impunity compounds the suffering and anguish.

In the face of injustice and impediments to the exercise of their most fundamental rights, the mobilisation of mothers, daughters, wives and sisters of the disappeared is a struggle of the heart and mind for truth, justice and equal rights. They are fighting for the survival of their children. As pointed out by the United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearance, women play a fundamental role in advancing the rights of disappeared persons.

They are activists, human rights defenders, mothers of families. Above all, they are courageous, strong and dignified and much more than victims. They address the gender inequalities that persist in our contemporary societies by taking on the economic burden of the loss of a male member of a family.

We praise the courageous women who have fought and will continue to fight in the name of truth, in the name of justice, and in the name of their loved ones.

The current state of enforced disappearances in the world is alarming. In Syria, Libya, Egypt and elsewhere the figures paint a bleak picture of the situation.

On this international day for women's rights, the FEMED calls on all States who have not signed or ratified the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance to show their commitment to the respect of human rights by ratifying the Convention to make it more effective and efficient in order to stop this practice that goes against all our values.

Paris, March 8 2021

Nassera Dutour,

President of the FEMED


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