UN health expert calls for holistic approach to violence with focus on women and non-binary people
The UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health Sunday, called for a holistic approach to violence with a special focus on preventing violence against women, non-binary people, and children.
Tlaleng Mofokeng’s report highlights the intersection between violence and its impact on the right to health. The report highlights the dramatic changes to the health situation across the world, which has grown to encompass concerns as violence and armed conflict. Violence has many different forms: within families, between partners, intensified by coronavirus lockdowns, brutality by State agents in democracies and dictatorships alike, and discrimination against marginalized groups.
Mofokeng calls for a substantive equality approach to the right to health. She notes that “a substantive equality approach to the right to health when responding to violence requires addressing common root causes of violence entrenched in patriarchy, systems of oppression, systemic racism, inequalities, and binary approaches to gender.”
The Special Rapporteur further underlines the criticality of adopting a non-binary approach to gender and gender-based violence under the right to health. The expert notes that:
“the binary conceptualization of gender as strictly being heteronormative creates an assumption that shapes how LGBTIQ+ persons navigate social, political, economic and legal structures, including those directly relating to gender-based violence and is one of the root causes of the particularly brutal forms of gender-based violence, hate crimes and hate speech they face.”
States have been asked to expand the definition of gender-based violence to include violence based on sexuality, sexual orientation, gender identity and sex characteristics, including all cisgender, queer, intersex and transgender women and feminine-presenting people.
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