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(New York, March 11, 2013)

Statement by Ambassador Nestor Osorio in the fifty-seventh session of the Commission on Social and Legal Status of Women - CSW

 

Madam President: Allow me to express my delegation's pleasure for your work in the Presidency, which I extend to the other members of the board. At the same time, I congratulate the new members, the Philippines and Italy.

Colombia considers that the Fourth World Conference on Women and the Beijing Platform for Action have been an essential road map for the development and advancement of women so as to detect the gaps and limitations that we still face concerning this matter. In this regard, and in order to strengthen the progress and empowerment of women, my country has adopted a strong domestic legislative framework and a comprehensive multi-sectorial action plan involving 17 national institutions and the commitment of 32 Provinces and 13 capital cities.

Therefore, we have managed to improve women's participation and their leadership in political, social and economic areas has been enlarged. This progress has been the basis to identify and characterize, in a detailed manner the phenomenon of violence against women and girls, and has allowed us to propose wide action strategies aimed at preventing and eliminating these practices.

Madam President:

Colombia welcomes the two reports from the Secretary-General that we have in front of us, concerning the Prevention and Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls. As we can appreciate in them, violence against women is a global fact that must be to confronted from a multi-sectorial approach and a broad international mobilization. In recent years Colombia has addressed the issue of the elimination of violence against women and girls with an integral and decided approach, based on the recognition of the existence of this scourge, the acceptance of the need to change the roles of women and men, and the decision to develop robust actions for the empowerment and progress of women .

The Colombian Government adopted Law 1257 of 2008 which guarantees the right of women to live free from violence and has issued several decrees to eradicate this problem. It has also formulated legislation to empower women and to recognize the contribution of unpaid work and the contribution of women to economic and social development (Law 1413 of 2010)Special important is Law 1448 of 2011 which states that women will enjoy special protection in the handling of land restitution caused by the armed conflict and will benefit from care measures, assistance and integral reparation for victims of the conflict and provides differential measures and guarantees of non-repetition for women and girls victim of sexual violence.

More recently, following the National Development Plan 2010-2014 guidelines, the Government of President Santos has consolidated and adopted the National Policy for Comprehensive Gender Equity in 2012 to ensure full enjoyment of human rights of women and gender equality in Colombia, focused on three pillars: prevention, integral and differentiated attention and institutional coordination, which assign specific responsibilities to the nation, local authorities, the private sector and civil society.

Madam President:

My country has also launched services and multi-sectorial responses for women and girls victims of violence. We set up coordination mechanisms for the provision of services for these women and girls', including domestic violence and sexual assault and this is supported in special legislation such as Act 1542 of 2012, through which any person may report cases of domestic violence.

We have also worked in order that these policies go beyond the immediate needs of women, as set in the guidelines of the above mentioned National Policy. Additionally, in light of the magnitude and complexity of the various existing forms of violence that threaten the lives and safety of men and women, the following actions have been implemented:

a. The National Plan of Building, Peace and Coexistence 2005-2015, to develop prevention, detection and treatment actions of different forms of violence against women and domestic violence, through inter-sectorial and inter-agency coordination, and with the support of the families, civil society organizations and international cooperation agencies;

b. Educational measures to ensure that schools implement prevention and protection regarding women lack of schooling; the incorporation of education in respect of the rights, freedoms, autonomy and equality between men and women, and encouraging the participation of women in empowerment programs and professional preparation, particularly in basic and applied sciences;

c. Awareness measures for state agencies, education bodies, and for society in general, through the implementation of a communications strategy aimed at public officials, the male population and society in general;

d. Strategies to prevent sexual exploitation, pornography and sex tourism with young women over the Internet:

e. Likewise, the national government has taken affirmative action and differential policies to encourage the hiring of women. Such is the case of Law 1429 of 2010, also called "First Job Act", which states that those who hire women over 40 who have not had employment contracts in the past 12 months and single mothers with low socioeconomic levels, among others, obtain reductions in their tax base.

Madam President:

The Government of Colombia is convinced that in order to achieve a more fair and equitable country it is necessary to eliminate any act or form of discrimination or aggression against women, just because they are women.

With this conviction, and supporting the global initiative of UN-WOMEN-COMMIT, the President of the Republic, Juan Manuel Santos, has endorsed the Colombian government's commitment to eradicate violence against women and girls through the implementation of an "Integral Plan to guarantee the right to a life free of violence for Colombian women."

Thank you very much.

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