New York, NY, Monday December 18, 2024 – As an organization committed to advancing the status of women in society at large and holding United Nations NGO status with the U.N.’s Department of Public Information, and Special Consultative status in association with the U.N. Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York (“WBASNY”) condemns the rape and sexual assault of women and girls in Israel on October 7 by the Hamas terrorist organization and reaffirms its unwavering stand against gender-based violence. WBASNY denounces rape as a weapon of war. Sexual violence is a crime against humanity and is often a form of genocide that breaks the human spirit, terrorizes individuals and destroys communities. It has multigenerational impact and must be called out, denounced, and ultimately eliminated. Silence about sexual violence is never acceptable, whenever and to whomever, and perpetrators must be held legally accountable.
WBASNY is mindful of the global Women, Peace & Security (WPS) agenda and has zero tolerance for cultures of impunity where heinous atrocities against women, children and men are fueled, occur, and remain unpunished. WBASNY upholds the international legal framework against conflict-related sexual violence. Under international human rights law, international humanitarian law, U.N. Security Council resolutions, and numerous U.N. conventions, states have the responsibility to protect all civilians and act vigilantly to hold perpetrators of sexual violence and gender-based crimes accountable. Justice, however, is not fully served unless the harms suffered by victims are fully assessed during investigations, adjudications and beyond, with an intersectional and victim-centered perspective.
WBASNY upholds the rights of those who have been sexually victimized because of their race, religion, ethnic origin, caste, ancestry, national origin, age, family status, membership in a particular social group, or gender.
WBASNY stands in solidarity with the multitude of victims around the world whose bodies have been used as a “battleground”.
The Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York (WBASNY) is the professional membership organization of choice for nearly 4,000 attorneys throughout New York State and the largest statewide women’s bar association in the country. For more than four decades, WBASNY has been a singularly important resource for women lawyers, providing professional networking, continuing legal education programming, leadership training, and advocacy for the rights of women, children, and families. Through involvement with WBASNY’s 20 regional chapters and its 40-plus substantive law committees, WBASNY’s members collaborate with one another on a variety of issues and perform public and community service, in furtherance of its mission to promote the advancement of the status of women in society and women in the legal profession; to promote the fair and equal administration of justice; and to act as a unified voice for its members with respect to issues of statewide, national and international significance to women generally and women attorneys in particular. WBASNY holds United Nations NGO status with the U.N.’s Department of Public Information, and Special Consultative status in association with the U.N. Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). WBASNY is also a founding member of the National Conference of Women’s Bar Associations.