When is genocide not genocide? When it should be 'femicide'

The minister defined 'femicide' as 'the persecution of women because they are women'

A French minister has urged the UN to introduce the term "femicide" into international law to describe the horrific crimes suffered by Yazidi women at the hands of Isis.

Speaking at the 60th annual Commission on the Status of Women, Laurence Rossignol, French minister for family, children and women's rights said, according to RFI: "It is because they are women and they are Yazidis that they are sold and murdered [by Isis].

"What they are experiencing is femicide."

Young Yazidi girl gives powerful speech at UN

Ms Rossignol added that the international coalition carrying out anti-terror operations in Iraq and Syria should say it is not only there to eradicate terrorism, but also "to free the Yazidi women of the femicide that they suffer".

She explained that the term "femicide" referred to "the persecution of women because they are women ... [It] is an intention to wipe out a group."

The term could also be applied to the kidnapping of young women by Boko Haram fighters in Nigeria, she added.

On Thursday, US Secretary of State John Kerry declared the slaughter of Christians, Yazidis and other ethnic groups by Isis should be classified as genocide.

He said: "In my judgment, Daesh is responsible for genocide against groups in areas under its control, including Yazidis, Christians and Shia Muslims", using the Arabic name for Isis.

It is the first time the US has declared genocide since Darfur, in 2004.

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