By Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka* | IDN-InDepthNews Viewpoint
NEW YORK (IDN) - Over the past two years, Boko Haram has grown in influence and spread across the West African region with specific impacts on the rights of women and girls. The 500th day anniversary of the kidnapping of the Chibok girls in Nigeria recently passed. Despite a global movement calling for their return, most remain missing, with more women and girls abducted by Boko Haram each week. Millions have been displaced as a result of Boko Haram violence.
In light of this ongoing and deepening insecurity, UN Women welcomes the release of the report this week by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on violations committed by Boko Haram.
We underline the call to affected States and the international community to place gender equality at the heart of interventions. This is the only sustainable, systemic way to prevent and respond to the spread of violent extremism. Empowered women and empowered communities are the best defense against radicalization and further violence. We must engender counter-terrorism.
By Baher Kamal*
MADRID (IDN) - They give life almost in every way – they deliver generation after generation; they plant seeds and grow crops, feed their families and sell food in rural markets; they bring water and heat and sacrifice themselves for the sake of their people be them new-borns, adults or elderly.