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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Saudi Gazette report
RIYADH — Dr. Awwad Al-Awwad, president of the Saudi Human Rights Commission (HRC), underlined the need for enhanced cooperation from all as well as more stringent measures to eliminate all forms of violence against women.
In a statement issued on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, which is celebrated worldwide each year on Nov. 25, he said that protecting women’s rights and empowering them is a culmination of the political will and reform measures being pursued by the Saudi leadership.
Al-Awwad urged to report all violations against women to the commission and other concerned authorities. “HRC looks forward to reporting all cases of violence committed against women,” he said.
He stressed the need to take more measures to enhance the protection of women’s rights, and raise public awareness about their issues and the resulting violations.
“This is essential to create an environment in which women can exercise their rights guaranteed by the Shariah and the law as well as to realize the aspiration of the wise leadership in accordance with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030,” he said.
He noted that the Vision 2030 relies on women as an important and active partner in the process of nation building and development.
Al-Awwad underscored the need for more compliance with law enforcement in the protection of women’s rights, in line with the progress made in national legislation, regulations and relevant international agreements to which the Kingdom has joined, foremost of which is the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.
According to this, the parties to the convention have to ensure effective protection of women’s rights through the competent courts and other public institutions in the country.
Al-Awwad emphasized that the Kingdom, under the leadership of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, and Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, has made protection and empowerment of women as one of its priorities.
“The Kingdom’s Vision 2030 stipulates that women are an important component of our strength, and we will continue to develop their talents and invest their energies and empower them to obtain appropriate opportunities so as to build their future and contribute to the development of our society and our economy.
As a result of this move, women received a major chunk of reforms, especially those related to the areas of human rights,” he said, noting that these included the issuance of many orders, decisions, and regulations that aim to protect, preserve and promote their rights.
He identified some of them as the following: establishing a center to receive reports of domestic violence; enacting a law for their protection against abuse; a law for combating the crime of harassment; establishing a family affairs council and designating one of its committees to handle affairs of women; establishing Civil Status courts to look into family cases; amending the execution system with regard to rulings issued for custody of children; and addressing rights of children in custody, as well as their maintenance and visit before separation of the spouses.
The decisions also included not requiring an adult woman to obtain the guardian’s approval for provision of any government services or termination of services and travel, in addition to opening new fields of work for them in various sectors as well as to take up leadership positions.
“In recognition of these efforts, the World Bank termed the Kingdom as the most advanced and reformed country out of 190 countries around the world in the field of empowering women and preserving their rights, as was contained in its report titled “Women, Business, and the Law 2020,” he said.
“He stressed what made the Kingdom in the forefront of these indicators is the political will and pioneering reform measures, spearheaded by the Crown Prince,” he added.
Al-Awwad stated that HRC, on the occasion of this day, aspires to strengthen the efforts to eliminate violence against women, develop tools and initiatives to confront it, enhance awareness about the dangers to the family and society, and work to address their causes and consequences.
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