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MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) - 02/07/2014
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(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of 'UN Women,' on Tuesday said she was "outraged by the deliberate targeting" of women and girls in Iraq and reports of kidnapping, rape and forced marriage by militants of ISIL and other armed groups



"The targeting of women and girls is a grave violation of human rights, and is a common characteristic of conflicts around the world, with devastating and enduring consequences for women and girls, families and societies," her office said in a statement



The UN Organisation dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women - 'UN Women' - said in the statement it is especially concerned by the risks to women's rights posed by growing extremism in various parts of the region and worldwide



"We are deeply concerned by recent reports that four women have committed suicide after being raped or forced to marry ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and Levant) militants as well as reports of men committing suicide after being forced to watch their wives and daughters being raped," it said



"UN Women strongly condemns sexual and gender-based violence, and calls on all parties to address such reports and protect the rights of Iraqi women and girls," it stressed



Since the recent outbreak of violence some two weeks ago, an estimated 1.2 million Iraqis have fled their homes amidst indiscriminate shelling of civilian areas



It expressed regret that the Iraqi parliament did not manage to start the political process of forming a new government. "Only a political solution can help end this violence," it said, calling for the immediate formation of an inclusive government and on all sides to cease targeting civilians and ensure that vulnerable populations are protected from violence


 






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