Jakarta (ANTARA) - Secretary general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Dr. Yousef A. Al-Othaimeen, has urged OIC member states to continue taking necessary measures and actions to ensure the protection of women against violence.

“[Preventive measures are necessary] Especially in light of the global escalation of the phenomenon of domestic violence, as one of the social repercussions of the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19),” Dr. Al-Othaimeen said in a statement received here on Wednesday.

He made the statement on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of All Forms of Violence against Women.

As a result of the necessary precautionary measures taken by countries against COVID-19, including lockdowns and home quarantine which have been imposed over long periods, family income has been adversely affected and the economic situation has deteriorated, a matter that has led to increased tension and psychological pressure, he observed.

Highlighting the need to address the growing cases of violence against women, the secretary general called on member states to focus on enacting laws to protect women and to take procedural and security measures to eliminate violence against women in the Muslim world because of its negative impact on the development and prosperity of society.

Al-Othaimeen also stressed that the issue should be among the main concerns of member states and urged them to intensify efforts to strengthen national policies and procedures against domestic violence and violence against women, and to strengthen the work of national community institutions working in the field.

The secretary general indicated that the commemoration of the International Day to Combat All Forms of Violence against Women this year comes at a time when the OIC is celebrating the operationalization of the Women Development Organization, headquartered in the Arab Republic of Egypt, as the first specialized organ of the OIC concerned with women's affairs and on advancing their status and building their capacity in member states.

One of the most important issues that the organization will take care of is to follow up the implementation and development of the OIC Plan of Action for the Advancement of Women in the Member States (OPAAW), which prioritizes combating violence against women, among other things.

It is worth noting that the first session of the ministerial meeting of the Women Development Organization was held virtually on October 21-22, 2020. The meeting was hosted by the Arab Republic of Egypt in coordination with the OIC General Secretariat.

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Reporter: Azis Kurmala
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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