Egyptian ‘Alternative Nobel’ Laureate Calls for Universal Women’s Rights Review at the UN
Egyptian women rights’ defender Mozn Hassan has called on the UN Human Rights Council to step up its watchdog role in protecting the rights of women around the world and especially in the Middle East and North Africa where violations are widespread.
Hassan, who shared the Right Livelihood Award last year with her organisation Nazra for Feminist Studies, addressed the high-level segment of the Council convening in Geneva this month via video as she is banned from international travel and her assets are frozen.
“Throughout the Middle East and North Africa, women human rights defenders are subjected to a wide range of violations — from enforced disappearances and sexual violence to second-class citizenship and denial of basic rights. With the rise of societal violence and extremism in the region, governments are prioritising security measures at the expense of promoting civic and political rights. The Human Rights Council can and should create a means to ensure regular scrutiny of a state’s commitment. Something akin to a ‘universal women’s rights review’ within the Human Rights Council would be a powerful tool not only to protect the rights of women but to strengthen economic development and achieve gender equality,” Hassan said.