Women's rights are human rights, German chancellor says

Updated: 2015-09-28 03:12


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UNITED NATIONS -- Women's rights are human rights, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said here Sunday at the Global Leaders' Meeting on Gender Equality and Women Empowerment.

"Isn't it a disgrace for humanity that we need to underline this still," Merkel said when she took the floor at the UN event, which opened here earlier in the day.

Merkel used her speech to highlight violence against women in conflict, as well as women's important role in building peace.

"Women have to have more of a say in preventing conflicts and in settling conflicts once they start," she said, "or to put it differently we need women for peace, we need women for development."

She said that development could not be achieved where women were deprived of their rights and that women were often worst off in conflict zones.

"Wherever women are deprived of their rights and freedoms, wherever they are systematically humiliated and abused, development is invariably limited," she said. "Particularly in conflict regions violence against women is a cruel reality, be it in Syria, in Iraq, in Nigeria or in South Sudan, the stories are very similar ones."

"Women and girls are torn from their families, they are raped, they are enslaved," she said. "Each and every one of these stories is a stark reminder to all of us to see to it that Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security is respected day to day."

UN member states adopted Security Council Resolution 1325 in October 2000 to recognize women's important role in peace building and to commit to increasing women's participation in peace negotiations.

Women remain underrepresented as negotiators at peace tables, making up less than 10 percent of negotiators between 1992 to 2011.