Immigration activists, including members of the DC Justice for Muslims Coalition, rally against the Trump administration's new ban against travelers from six Muslim-majority nations, outside of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection headquarters in Washington, U.S., March 7, 2017. (Xinhua/REUTERS)
NEW YORK, March 10 (Xinhua) -- The International Women's Health Coalition (IWHC), a global organization committed to ensuring health of women, on Friday said that it is "deeply saddened" that a South African women's group decided to drop out of a UN meeting on women's rights in order to protest the new travel ban signed by U.S. President Donald Trump.
IWHC said in a press release here that its partner, the South African organization, Masimanyane Women's Rights International, has canceled its participation in a meeting of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).
"This annual meeting is an important global gathering of diplomats, international delegates, and women's rights advocates that plays a crucial role in determining the focus of the global women's agenda and its progress," the press release said. The annual CSW meeting is to take place at UN Headquarters in New York on March 13-24.
Masimanyane, an international advocacy organization working to strengthen women's rights, reduce HIV/AIDS, and eradicate violence against women, has made this decision in response to the Trump Administration's executive orders targeting women, refugees, travelers, and immigrants.
In a statement, the organization denounced the U.S. travel ban targeting predominantly Muslim countries, for denying the right of women from United Nations member states to participate in the global forum.
"IWHC believes that the Trump Administration's executive orders display a fundamental disrespect for women, racial justice, equality, religious tolerance, and human rights," the press release said. "Women migrants and refugees, women of color, women living in poverty, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people, and other marginalized groups will bear the brunt of this Administration's callous policies."
As a global organization committed to ensuring that women can control their own their bodies and determine their own futures, IWHC is working to oppose policies by the Trump Administration that violate human rights and roll back progress for women and girls.
IWHC is participating in CSW deliberations to ensure that access to sexual and reproductive health remains on the agenda. Family planning is essential for women's participation in the workforce, which is the special focus of this year's gathering. The 61st session of the Commission on the Status of Women, is the second held since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda, which puts women at the core of a globally agreed set of development goals and targets.
"Separately, IWHC has learned that a number of advocates from various countries have been denied visas to participate in the multilateral meetings held at CSW," the press release said. "Each year, IWHC trains advocates from various countries ahead of the negotiations at CSW."
The CSW is the principal global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women.
"The organization is closely monitoring problems involving visas and entry to the United States," the press release added.
On Tuesday, the UN high commissioner for refugees, Filippo Grandi, voiced his concern about the new U.S. rules, known as the Executive Order signed on Monday by U.S. President Trump, stressing the need to protect people fleeing deadly violence, a UN spokesman told reporters here.
The new executive order prevents nationals of six Muslim countries from entering the United States, excluding Iraq from the list of a previous ban.
Demonstrators rally against the Trump administration's new ban against travelers from six Muslim-majority nations, outside of the White House in Washington, U.S. March 6, 2017. (Xinhua/REUTERS)
The new document maintained a 90-day ban on nationals of Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Libya, Iran and Somalia from entering the United States, effective from March 16.
In addition to the travel ban, the order also suspended granting refugee status for 120 days after the effective date. Syrian refugees, which were singled out in the original version as being banned indefinitely, will be given the same treatment with refugees of other origins.
Trump signed a similar executive order on Jan. 27, which imposed a ban on nationals of seven Muslim countries to enter the United States for 90 days, refugees for 120 days and Syrian refugees indefinitely.
A federal judge of the U.S. District Court of the Western District of Washington later slapped a nationwide restraining order on the travel ban, and the ruling was upheld by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.