Issues & Actions

Women’s rights in the UN Secretary General’s report on the post-2015 development agenda

The IAW President calls for specific actions to turn words into deeds.

Mob rapes in Egypt

A Press Release has been issued by the “Marangopoulos Foundation for Human Rights” and the “Greek League for Women’s Rights”, with regard to reported mob rapes of women in Cairo Egypt during the recent demonstrations.

IAW Statements to the Commission on the Status of Women 2013

Violence against women as a human right issue
The effects of the economic crisis on gender-based violence

On the Welfare of ALL a Man's Children

The International Alliance of Women is launching an inquiry into the status of a father's responsibility for the welfare of all his children in the nations of its member organisations. 
The IAW, through the Commission on Health, requests its members to fill out the three page questionnaire ( in English) and return it to the address indicated before the end of the month.

Sur le Bien-être de TOUS les Enfants d'un Père

L’Alliance Internationale des Femmes lance une enquête dans l’état de la responsabilité du père pour le bien-être de tous ses enfants, dans les pays de ses organisations membre. 
L’AIF, par l’intermédiaire de la Commission Santé, demande à ses membres de remplir le questionnaire de trois pages ( en Français) et de le retourner à l’adresse indiquée avant la fin du mois en cours.

Rosy Weiss
Hon. President, International Alliance of Women presented


in Bonn, Germany, on 5 September 2011 at the “Sustainable Societies: Responsive citizens” 64th Annual UN DPI/NGO Conference in the Workshop “Rio+20 - A Window of Opportunity for a Multi-Stakeholder Partnership on Global Commons Growth”
Full Text
Group around Rosy Weiss

The Debt Crisis and Women's Rights

In response to the statement of Cephas Lumina, UN Independent Expert on Foreign Debt and Human Rights ( IAW President Lyda Verstegen and IAW Regional Vice-President Johanna Manganara of the Greek League for Women's Rights agreed on the following message sent to encourage him to include the special strain women suffer in times of offically mandated "belt-tightening" in future statements on the issue:

Dear Mr Lumina,

The International Alliance of Women, at its latest Congress in Johannesburg in November, adopted resolutions very much in line with what you said about the Greek debts and human rights.
We are very grateful you made these remarks and we hope the Troika and the Greek government will keep them in mind. We agree that, however difficult, a human rights based approach to economic problems is very important. We noticed that you asked to pay attention in this regard, especially to 'the poor, elderly, unemployed and persons with disabilities'. We also couldn't agree more.
But you didn't mention women.
We know that women's human rights are not realised in the same way as men's. So we ask you in further texts to please explicitly address women's human rights.

Respectfully yours,
IAW h.t. President,
Lyda Verstegen

The IAW joins the European Women's Lobby in protesting a proposed Law in Poland affecting Reproductive Rights

Mr. Donald Tusk
Prime Minister

Your Excellency,
Women in Europe, and among them the International Alliance of Women, are worried about the change in the Law on Family Planning, protection of the human foetus and conditions for legal abortion, currently under discussion.

The text of the new bill regarding the right to life does not correspond to that used in international and European human rights instruments - to which Poland is a party - as it unconditionally prohibits abortion. This will not lead to a lesser number of women inducing abortion, only make it dangerous to undergo a clandestine and unsafe abortion. Passing the bill in this form will lead to maternal mortality and abortion-related injuries, particularly among poor women who may resort to self-induced abortion.

While Poland is holding the EU Presidency, it is crucial that your country shows its commitment to promote gender equality and human rights, both through its own legislation and its work at EU level.

Sincerely yours,
IAW h.t. President,
Lyda Verstegen.

The 35th Congress of the INTERNATIONAL ALLIANCE OF WOMEN together in Boksburg, South Africa on 23rd to 27th November 2010

Resolution 1

Considering that in countries with plural legal systems traditional and customary norms often confer rights and power of decision to the male members of society to the detriment of women’s health and development,

Decides that:

  1. Such norms should urgently be harmonized with legal norms derived from International conventions, International standards and decisions
  2. Legal institutions and mechanisms should be strengthened to influence and counter traditions and customs that continue to abuse and exploit women.

Important fields of action should target:

  • The elimination of policies and regulations requiring that women obtain consent from the men in their family to access health care.
  • The adoption of legal mechanisms accessible to all women dealing with paternity complaints in cases of sexual abuse or coercion.1

Moved by:

Gudrun Haupter
Convenor Commission on Health

Seconded by:

Hélène Sackstein
Permanent Representative UN Geneva

Resolution 2

Welcoming the establishment of the new UN gender architecture UN Women

Calls on the President and Board of the IAW to convey to the relevant authorities the following message:
That work towards the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 be included in the program of UN Women.

Moved by:

Bettina Corke

Seconded by:

Ida Kurth

Resolution 3

Considering the importance of the content of UN Security Council Resolution 1325

Is of the opinion that this Resolution must be fully implemented.

Calls on the President and Board of the IAW to:

  • Put pressure on governments to endorse and fully implement UN Security Council Resolution 1325 by drawing up National Action Plans.
  • Encourage and facilitate IAW member organizations to hold meetings in their countries to plan action to lobby their governments to implement UN Security Council Resolution 1325 and to follow up internationally.

Moved by:

Bettina Corke

Seconded by:

Ida Kurth

Resolution 4

Considering that the IAW as an international women’s rights organization should support all appropriate initiatives that may lead to strengthen women’s voices in fields where we have an agreed position.

Calls on the President and Board of the IAW to co-sign the letter of submission of Mexican NGOs and of IPAS nominating Adriana Ortega Ortiz2 for the newly created Working Group of the Human Rights Council as an expert on the issue of discrimination against women in law and in practice.

Moved by:

Hélène Sackstein
Permanent Rep UN Geneva

Seconded by:

Gudrun Haupter
Convenor Commission on Health

Resolution 5

Considering that IAW as an international women’s organization supports all appropriate initiatives promoting respect of all human rights for all women.

Calls on the President and Board of the IAW to call on its members, affiliates, associates and individuals, to promote and advocate at national, regional and international level, respect by host countries of civil, political, economic and cultural rights for refugees fleeing from armed conflicts, and particularly women who are subjected to multiple discriminations.

Moved by:

Hélène Sackstein

Seconded by:

Jessika Kehl-Lauff

Resolution 6

Considering that on International Day to say no to all forms of violence against women on 25th November we again condemn all forms of violence against women wherever it is directed against women of this world.

Considering that with shame and pain we have to state that throughout the world women and men continue to be confronted with various known and condemned forms of violence against women including several forms of cruel treatments or punishments such as breast ironing, stoning to death, stigmatization and psychological violence.

Considering the financial crisis has caused increased poverty among people and within families in many parts of the world and as such is a push factor for an increase of all forms of violence against women.

Is of the opinion that the perpetuation of violence against women, including gender based violence which can be directed equally against men and which is without any doubt recognized as violation of human rights under the UN human rights treaties, indicates a worldwide crisis of humanity.

Calls on the President and Board:

  • To urgently call on the UN including the World Security Council, the High Commissioner of Human Rights, UN WOMEN and all stakeholders of governments, civil societies and NGOs to define a mutual and more comprehensive approach to counteract this crisis more effectively under their already existing international, regional and national legal obligations to eliminate all forms of violence against women.
  • To ratify the action taken on 25 November 2010 during Congress.

Moved by:

Ida Kurth

Seconded by:

Joanna Manganara

Resolution 7

Considering that women and children have been suffering in the Middle East for more than sixty years.

Calls on the President and Board of the IAW to support the continuation of the ongoing peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority to put an end to suffering in the region.

Moved by:

Horeya Megahed

Seconded by:

Louise Deumer

Resolution 8

Considering that 65 years after the end of the Asian-Pacific war (1937-1945) and 19 years after the first Asian Pacific women, many from Korea, had broken the silence over their fate as having been enslaved as so called ‘comfort women’.

Calls on the President and Board to support women’s organizations in the process of reconciliation for these women to end their plight and take action for lasting peace.

Moved by:

Marion Böker

Seconded by:

Ida Kurth

Resolution 9

Considering that the worsening economic crisis affects most particularly women and children and risks eroding democratic structures.

Having noted that in this context policies aimed at getting out of the crisis must respect and reinforce economic, social and cultural rights.

Calls on the President and Board of the IAW to strongly lobby governments, international, regional and national bodies to reinforce and secure women’s and children’s economic, social, cultural and human rights by the reinforcement of those rights in economic, social and financial planning.

Moved by:

Monique Bouaziz

Seconded by:

Marion Böker

Resolution 10

Considering that women today are the main drivers for legal economic growth and the economic slowdown is affecting women more than men in many countries.

Having noted that policy responses to the crisis have failed to analyse and rectify the gender impact of the crisis.

Calls on the President and Board of the IAW to urge its member organisations To work together with other interested NGOS at national, regional and international levels to:

  • Recognizes women as important economic agents.
  • Dismantle gender stereotypes.
  • Involve women at the decision making level in the design, implementation and evaluation of macro-economic policies.
  • Ensure equal representation of women and men in corporate and political positions with economic responsibilities.

Moved by:

Joanna Manganara

Seconded by:

Joke Sebus

1. The implementation of laws that make the father pay for all his children works against men seducing or coercing adolescents, thus limiting early pregnancies.
2. Ms Ortega Ortiz is currently a Gender Equality Officer of the National Supreme Court of Justice of Mexico and has been a temporary member of the Gender Advisory Board of WHO and a Fellow at the Centre for Reproductive Rights in the USA.

35th Congress Reports (Boksburg, South Africa)

Congress Reports

Violence and Subjugation of Women in South-East Asia

On behalf of AIWC, New Delhi, India, Kumkum Narain submitted a paper titled “Violence and Subjugation of Women in South-East Asia” for the Workshop at Congress in South Africa.

Download Paper [Note: large file 3.7MB]

Address by the Minister of Arts and Culture, Mr. Paul Mashatile MP, on the occasion of the 35th World Congress of the International Alliance of Women

The address of Hon. President Rosy Weiss on the Occasion of the 90th Anniversary of the Founding of the Greek League for Women’s Rights

Download Address