This year, MALA is spotlighting individual stories from men and women who take a stand to eliminate violence against women, both nationally and globally. Our community looks forward to supporting UN Women’s Orange the World Campaign to support efforts to end violence against women and girls worldwide. UN Women and partners around the world are marking the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, launching from International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on November 25th until UN’s International Human Rights Day on December 10th.
Imad Hamad is the founder and Executive Director of the American Human Rights Council (AHRC). The organization is dedicated to defending and protecting human rights as outlined in the U.S. Constitution and the United Nations 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The AHRC was formed to protect these rights and advocate for anyone whose rights are being violated or denied. To that end, the AHRC will build a tenacious, objective, and carefully guided advocacy program that will serve to defend individual human rights, whenever and wherever they are being infringed upon. Here, Imad shares his poignant perspective on how women’s rights are a universal human right, and encourages citizens to take part in speaking out for gender equality.
As a fellow human, standing against any form or shape of violence against other fellow humans, and against women in particular is just wrong, and bears no justification under any circumstance. It is the human decency that bond us together that mandate such basic unconditional respect. Women are our mothers, sisters, daughters, partners in life, friends and co-workers of every aspect of our life-hood. Respect is the driving engine for such gracious mutual respect between one another. This only can flourish by love and through embracing our common humanity.
Born as a stateless Palestinian refugee, I witnessed the ultimate and unconditional sacrifices that women did through this painful journey of becoming a shadow with no place of belonging. A woman’s role, including that of my mother, during such agony was instrumental in order to keep the hope for a better life alive. This is just a simple reminder why any form or shape of assault and disrespect to women is a reason of shame to any person who dares to cross the line. Violence in particular against girls and women is unethical, as well as illegal, and those who cross the line must be held accountable. This is a dear cause to me, deeply entrenched in my personal and professional capacity. Being the Executive Director of a vocal human rights organization that is dedicated to defending and advancing human rights is another gateway to advocate for women’s rights.
I join the efforts in order to combat this ongoing challenge facing women across the globe. The American Human Rights Council (AHRC-USA) joins the United Nations, countries around the world, community partners, and global citizens in recognition of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on Friday, November 25, 2016. This is a time where we need to accelerate all efforts to raise awareness and build support around the elimination of violence against women in all its forms. AHRC-USA urges all to learn more about the impacts of violence against women and girls and to actively engage in the movement to end gender-based violence globally.
Violence, particularly intimate partner and sexual violence, affects women and their families in every society. In any form, it is a violation of basic human rights and human dignity. The health and well-being of our global communities will depend on advancing a multitude of issues pertaining to gender equality, and the complete elimination of gender-based violence.