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Question: Protecting women and girls against violence, Is progress being made? CPNN article: Ending Violence against Women: Has Your Government made progress?
CPNN Administrator
Posted: Dec. 31 1999,17:00

This discussion question applies to the following articles:

Ending Violence against Women: Has Your Government made progress?
A Life Free of Violence Is Our Right!
Challenges to Civil Liberties in Connecticut
Celebramos la reunificación de niña migrante salvadoreña con su abuela en la Ciudad de Chihuahua.
Celebrating the reunion of a Salvadoran migrant girl with her grandmother in the City of Chihuahua
Las Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo reciben el premio Houphouët-Boigny de fomento de la Paz
Plaza de Mayo Grandmothers received Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize at UNESCO Headquarters
Les Grand-meres de la Place de mai ont recu le Prix Felix Houghouet-Boigny a l'UNESCO
16 Jours d’activisme contre la violence basée sur le genre
16 Días de activismo contra la violencia de género
16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence
La mujeres de hoy
The women of today
Women and Men Fight Domestic Violence Together
The Day of the Girl Has Come
Join us for 16 Days of Activism to End Gender Violence!
ICC Prosecutor Hails Shift in Fight Against Sexual Violence
Inició el Seminario Internacional por una Cultura de Paz: Cómo Suprimir la Violencia Contra las Mujeres
International Seminar for a Culture of Peace:  How to Stop Violence against Women [Mexico]
Tunisie: Inauguration du premier centre pilote d'accueil des femmes victimes de la violence
Tunisia: Inauguration of first shelter for women victims of violence
SEPM promove campanha educativa “Blitz da Paz” nesta quinta-feira (Brasil)
SEPM promotes educational campaign "Peace Blitz" this Thursday (Brazil)
One Billion Rising: Playwright Eve Ensler Organizes Global Day of Dance Against Sexual Abuse
When Peacemakers Become Perpetrators: Kathryn Bolkovac Introduces The Whistleblower at the UN
The Advocates for Human Rights Call for Submissions
Firman acuerdo por una cultura de paz en Sinaloa (México)
Agreement signed for a culture of peace in Sinaloa, Mexico
UN Women welcomes Agreed Conclusions at the Commission on Status of Women
Violence à l’encontre des femmes: un problème mondial de santé publique d’ampleur épidémique
Informe de la OMS destaca que la violencia contra la mujer es un problema de salud global de proporciones epidémicas
WHO report highlights violence against women as a global health problem of epidemic proportions
Change the date: combatiendo la violencia sobre las adolescentes
Change the date: fighting violence against young women
Female Circumcision Declining in Africa, but 30 Million Girls Still at Risk
Saudi Arabia passes historic domestic abuse legislation
Fighting the stigma facing Afghanistan's women police
Voices against Violence
States Should Use ICC System to Eliminate Grave Crimes against Women
Global Campaign to End Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C)
Afghanistan: President Karzai blocks law protecting perpetrators of domestic violence
Take action to Orange your day: End violence against women
Europe Treaty on Violence Against Women to Take Effect
Entra en vigor tratado europeo sobre violencia contra la mujer
Le traité européen sur la violence à l'égard des femmes va bientôt entrer en vigueur
World leaders face pressure to act against sexual violence at UK summit
Women's Rights Groups Demand that US Stop Negotiating TPP with Brunei Until the Sultan Revokes New Taliban-Like Laws
In India’s garment factories, stitching clothes and a culture of non-violence
Egalité Maintenant pleure la mort de notre amie et collègue, Efua Dorkenoo
Igualdad Ya llora la muerte de Efua Dorkenoo, amiga y compañera
Remembering our friend and colleague, Efua Dorkenoo
Battered women support services commemorates Prevention of Violence Against Women Week
“A Girl in the River-The Price Of Forgiveness”: A Pakistani Film shedding light on the Taboo of our society
PORTRAIT: Dr. Denis Mukwege, the man who repairs women in eastern DRC
Amnesty International: 10 ways we’ve defended women’s rights in the past year
Hundreds of Thousands Join Saudi Women-Led Campaign to End Male Guardianship in the Kingdom
India: Buddhist nuns bike Himalayas to oppose human trafficking
Guatemala: 28 years of struggle for the life, dignity and rights of women survivors of genocide

Click here for articles since 2016.
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CPNN Administrator
Posted: Dec. 04 2002,07:16

As the article points out, governments made five commitments.  Does the US government make annual reports and can we get hold of them.

1) review and revise legislation to ensure that all women and girls are protected against all forms of violence and are provided recourse to justice

2) undertake research to develop a better understanding of the root causes of violence against women

3) promote a holistic approach to respond to all forms of violence and abuse

4) address the root factors that encourage trafficking in women and girls for prostitution, forced marriages and forced labor

5) set up a national coordinating mechanism including non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to encourage exchange of information related to violence against women of all ages.
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CPNN Administrator
Posted: Dec. 31 2002,12:32

Comment received from John in July, 2002

For human development, women play an important role by transmitting their knowledge to their children, helping themselves, and building society. But economic hardship and brutality falls on women, children and the elderly first. He thinks that Human Development Investments are key to economic growth and the best way to achieve it is to lift people, women, and children out of poverty by giving them access to food, medicine, and education.
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David Adams
Posted: Nov. 10 2011,10:15

I recommend the following article in Common Ground News Service about progress being made in Morocco for women's rights and protection against violence.

Women’s rights in Morocco: from the private to public sphere by Fatima Outaleb
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CPNN Administrator
Posted: Nov. 27 2012,10:19

Here are some of the women that are being honored by the Nobel Women's Initiative, one each day for the 16 days of Activism to End Gender Violence:

Day 1: Spotlighting Crystal Lameman, Beaver Lake Cree Nation, Canada.  Crystal is a Beaver Lake Cree First Nation activist, a Sierra Club Prairie activist and the Peace River tar sands campaigner for the Indigenous Environmental Network in Alberta, Canada – and a mother of two. With infectious dedication and passion, Crystal is committed to restoring Native treaty rights and stopping the expansion of the tar sands.

Day 2: Spotlighting Laura Reyes, Mexico.  Laura Reyes is an activist from Ciudad Juárez, Mexico who is deeply committed to justice for her family. Her family has been the target of brutal violence—everything from house burning and harassment to assassinations—for their work defending the rights of their fellow citizens in Ciudad Juárez. It is estimated that drug-cartel violence has killed more than 50,000 Mexicans since 2007—many of them in Ciudad Juárez, a city that borders El Paso, Texas.

Day 3: Spotlighting Susanna Hla Hla Soe, Burma.  Susanna is an activist working to improve the lives of ethnic Karen women in Burma. Susanna grew up in  a rural community that suffered profoundly from the ethnic conflicts that have defined so much of Burmese history. The values she learned at home in her Baptist household fueled her desire to work for her community.  For 12 years, she worked for the international organization. During that time, she had the opportunity to do a Masters degree in NGO leadership in the United States, as well as leadership training programs.

Day 4: Spotlighting Melina Laboucan Massimo, Canada.  Melina is an Indigenous and environmental activist from the Lubicon Cree in Northern Alberta. Since 2009 Melina has been  working as an oil sands campaigner for Greenpeace Canada. Having grown up in the oil sands region, Melina knows the reality of the oil sands too well. She has seen first-hand the impacts of oil sands development on her Nation’s people, culture, and land. She now spends most of her days traveling inside Canada and around the world to share her family’s stories with a larger audience.

Day 5: Spotlighting Chi Yvonne Leina, Cameroon.  Leina is a Cameroonian journalist, women’s rights advocate and the World Pulse correspondent for Cameroon. Leina has worked as a news presenter and reporter for Equinoxe Television, a private TV channel in Cameroon.  She is also one of her country’s most compelling advocates for women’s rights. Leina is passionate about ending breast ironing, a practice which involves the pounding of a pubescent girl’s breasts using hard or heated objects to try to make them stop developing or disappear.  In Cameroon, studies show that one in four girls undergo such torture.  

Day 6: Spotlighting Lubna Masarwa, Palestine.  The deep injustice of the situation in Gaza moves Lubna to action.  In recent years she has done a great deal of international work to raise awareness of the situation in Gaza. She has also been active in attempting to break the siege in Gaza, and was among the passengers who were attacked on Mavi Marmara ship in May of 2010.  Israeli authorities bordered the ship, taking medical and other supplies to Gaza, and killing nine activists and injuring many others.  But Lubna is undeterred, and says that activism is “in [her] blood.” Lubna can also often be found escorting international media to East Jerusalem, where she is part of the fight against house demolitions—the razing of Palestinian homes to create space for Israeli settlers.  She is also a staunch advocate for providing education for young Palestinian women against racist and unjust laws.

Day 7: Spotlighting Hagit Ofran, Israel.  Hagit is the director of the Settlement Watch project, part of the Israeli Peace Now movement. Widely-recognized as Israel’s foremost expert on West Bank and East Jerusalem settlements, Hagit is responsible for monitoring and analyzing Israeli construction and planning of settlements in the West Bank.

Day 8: Spotlighting Rada Boric, Croatia.  Rada is a renowned international feminist, professor, and peace activist, who is best known for creating positive change in the lives of women in her native Croatia and around the world.  Rada started off helping women survivors of violence during the war in the former Yugoslavia. She was program coordinator of the Center for Women War Victims in Zagreb, a center that was exceptional in allowing all women victims of war to seek refuge and begin healing free from discrimination. During that time, Rada was also actively involved in the Anti-War Campaign of Croatia.

Day 9: Spotlighting Rubina Feroze Bhatti, Pakistan.  In 1998, Rubina and a group of her students formed the group Taangh Wasaib, meaning “longing for the fullness of humanity.” Over time, Rubina’s student group grew and began working with women on a variety of issues. As a human rights activist, Rubina has spoken out about honour killings, acid attacks, domestic abuse and wan’ni (the trading of female family members as conflict compensation). Through Taangh Wasaib, she has provided many women with the tools to increase their mobility, while also providing them with opportunities in their own communities.

Click here for additional brief biographies.
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CPNN Administrator
Posted: Mar. 19 2013,14:39

Listen to me, I do have a voice

published in Le Mauricien on International Women's Day, 8 March, 2013, by Priya Baligadoo

Eager I was to tell my story and share my views but none was ready to listen. Sometimes, people did cast a glance at me and I was so happy. It made me think that I was not invisible and I did exist. These were however, momentary moments. Ignoring my presence and my wish to speak up, they would pass by me. I was just a curiosity for them. My ripped clothes, bruised arms and swollen face might have attracted their interest but none had the time to listen to my side of the story.

On the International Women's Day, women around the world are expected to make their voices heard. Yet, no one has asked me how difficult it is to talk. The fear of being abused again and the stigma that society puts on women like me is the reason of my silence. Where do I seek help ? I cry but no one cares. I shout and no one seems to hear. Sometimes, looking at me with pity, some people will quickly lower their eyes and continue their journey. It is not a secret that I am beaten daily but silence is the motto. Who is to be blamed ? I am myself not able to speak up. To speak up means going against gender stereotypes that people and society have generated, getting perhaps entangled in police cases and court's procedure.

However, I have now decided to break the silence. Yes, it is difficult. Many times, I try but my voice seems not to come out. My mind is clouded with all sorts of visions, my hands tremble and my feet shake. This time though, none can stop me. I have been waiting for months and years for someone to come to my rescue but I cannot take it anymore. The International Women's Day is a reminder that I have rights and none can snatch those from me. If other women worldwide are denouncing violence and fighting for their rights and peaceful living, I can also do that. I just need to take one step and muster the courage to speak up. You know what ? I in fact did it ! Now, I know that none can help me better than myself. I do not want anyone's pity. I will rather be given a chance to make my voice heard. I want to tell others that my sense of powerlessness and hopelessness is gradually decreasing. Slowly, I am regaining my self-confidence and valuing my being. Needless to say, after years of silence, I have much to share. I know that others may perhaps not understand me. Criticisms are bound to occur. Yet, as a human being, I am entitled to the same rights as my fellowmen. You may think that I am too blunt but it is not my intention to hurt anyone. I just want to tell you “Listen to me, I do have a voice”.

* From Priya Baligadoo (Member of the International Network of Women Philosophers, UNESCO) : The lines above reflect the thoughts of many women whose rights are being snatched but are not able to speak up. They are meant to be an inspiration for women to make their voices heard and fight for their rights.
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CPNN Administrator
Posted: June 15 2014,16:03

Attending the largest ever summit on ending sexual violence in conflict, Mary Robinson argues that women are not just victims of war – they must play an essential part in building peace. First published in the New York Times and available on the website of The Elders

In war zones, rape is a weapon. We cannot claim to be serious about stopping war crimes if we do nothing to prevent and punish these heinous acts – and if women are not part of the solution every step of the way.

Thanks to the rallying efforts of William Hague and Angelina Jolie, dozens of foreign ministers and legions of advocacy groups are gathering in London this week to grapple with a global response to sexual violence in conflict. This is an unprecedented show of ambition; governments have not given these crimes the necessary attention in the past.

Now the blind spot will be uncovered: women – and men, too – are at risk of sexual abuse wherever gunfire rattles and militias roam. Like other forms of violence, sexual violence shatters people, families, and livelihoods. It leaves behind a legacy of trauma, making it more likely that the next generation will continue fighting, killing, and allow sexual violence to fester.

A history of modern warfare reveals sexual abuse at almost every turn: according to the United Nations, up to 250,000 Rwandan women were sexually assaulted in three months of genocide in 1994. In Yugoslavia, 60,000 women were abused between 1992 and 1995. Sierra Leone and Liberia jointly witnessed up to a hundred thousand cases over the course of a decade in the 1990s.

These days, the Democratic Republic of Congo makes headlines with reports of rape on an alarming scale, much of which is connected to the conflict in the eastern regions. The UN reports more than 200,000 cases of rape in the country since 1998. In April this year, a detailed report by the UN human rights office in the Congo provided evidence based on over 3,600 cases in the past three years – a conservative figure based on registered cases only. The oldest victim was 80 years old. The youngest was two.

As UN special envoy to the Great Lakes region, I travel to Congo frequently. When I address the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict in London this week, I will speak up for the women I meet in Bukavu, Goma and Kinshasa. I will remind delegates that the women of Congo are not victims first and foremost. Above all, they are leaders. They hold their communities together. They are the region’s best hope for peace.

Former President Jimmy Carter is my colleague within a group of independent leaders called The Elders, founded by Nelson Mandela. He has recently written a visionary book arguing that women’s discrimination is the most pervasive human rights violation in the world, perpetuated and preserved by men in ascendant positions everywhere.

Sexual violence highlights that very injustice in peace negotiations, historically the preserve of male elites. There is no question that women suffer hugely. So why is their experience of war not deemed equal to men’s at the negotiating table, when the blueprints for peace are being drawn?

Moreover, in volatile settings, like eastern Congo, where the state has broken down and a security vacuum sets in, women are the ones who lead and organise the community while the men are swept up in conflict. We have seen women leaders heal divisions in Northern Ireland and Liberia, but the lessons from these successes have not significantly changed our thinking worldwide.

The people of Congo are used to hollow peace agreements – "bad men forgiving bad men in front of cameras," as the saying goes – only for the pomp and promise to fade away at the next round of gunfire. We need a different approach, one that includes the society as a whole, with a due role given to women. As Genevieve Inagosi, the Congo government’s Minister of Gender puts it: “Women do not only have the solutions. They are the solutions.”

Mindsets are evolving. The United Nations Security Council has passed several resolutions recognising the need to include women in peace processes. We need to push the agenda further at every opportunity.

One reason I am hopeful is that, after this week’s summit, millions of silent victims, most of whom are women, will know there are actions they can take to defend their dignity. The top priorities at the meeting are to improve the documentation and investigation of crimes, and to provide better support networks for survivors.

The greater aspiration is that societies in conflict will know that these war crimes will not go unpunished and that transitional justice can be made available to deal with these abuses swiftly. The stigma will shift from the victims to the criminals. If rape is no longer deemed a warrior’s accepted privilege, we will be one step closer to peace.

This opinion piece was first published in On the Ground, Nicholas Kristof's blog for the New York Times.
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David Adams
Posted: July 14 2014,09:14

The 47 CPNN articles devoted to this theme suggest that indeed progress is being made.
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-3 replies since Dec. 04 2002,07:16 < Next Oldest | Next Newest >

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