The United Nations in Geneva witnesses a special event on empowering Kashmiri women under Indian military occupation.
By Our Special Correspondent
GENEVA—India’s occupation of Kashmir fairs worse than the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, the American occupation of Iraq, and the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories, according to independent human rights activists at the United Nations in Geneva.
Princess Machilin Makaou Djouma, chairwoman of OCOPORCE International, a UN accredited nongovernmental organization, and the Permanent Representative of Somalia to UN Office in Geneva, joined Prof. Alfred de Zayas, UN Independent Expert on the Promotion of Democratic and Equitable International Order, in condemning India’s brutal military occupation of Kashmir.
They were all part of a side event at the Palais de Nation in Geneva, titled, Empowering Women in Conflict Zones.
Alfred de Zayas recommended that rights activists make full use of UN mechanisms to document and report rights abuses and force occupation forces to cede space to women in occupied regions.
She said we are concerned about the critical situation of women in Niger, Kashmir, and Mali.
Djouma said Kashmir and the armed conflicts in Africa we support women and we believe there should be an international investigation into
Mrs. Shamim Shawl, a renowned APHC women leader, said the women of Kashmir were fighting for their freedom to act to help their families but that the Indian military targeted them in ways to rob them from the right to act as agents of change in their society.
His Excellency Ismael Bari Bari, Somalia’s Permanent Representative to UN compared the situation that Kashmiri women find themselves in to what women in conflict zones in Africa go through. He read out a list of suggested ideas to improve the situation of women in conflict zones.
Ahmed Quraishi, Executive Director of Youth Forum of Kashmir, said India’s occupation of Kashmir fared worse in its treatment of women than the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, the American occupation of Iraq, and the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.
India’s occupation strategy in Kashmir rests on harassing and abusing women in order to stop their men from joining the resistance to Indian occupation, he said. This, he added, makes Kashmir the worst international conflict today for women.
Kashmir freedom leader Altaf Hussain Wani, who chaired the event, said, “It is the responsibility of the UN, regional orgs, and member states, to dismantle the barriers create the space and provide the seat at the table for women.”
‘The Indian state,’ he added, “is not giving any space to women, instead they are using rape as a weapon of war.’
Geneva, 20 June 2014