Dear IANSA Women's Network and friends,
The Third International Conference on Women's Safety, will take place on 22-24 November 2010 in Delhi, India. As we know, women's lack of safety is a serious obstacle to achieving gender equality as it curtails women's mobility and limits their right to participate fully and freely as citizens in their communities.
Infrastructures as disparate as education, investment, employment and transportation are destroyed by armed violence, exacerbating underdevelopment and poverty. Violence so often flows from and perpetuates poverty and underdevelopment. All statistics show that, worldwide, women bear a disproportionate burden of poverty. Women's lives are torn apart - access to food, education, and health care for themselves and their families are made immeasurably more difficult.
The easy availability of small arms is also linked to high levels of violent crime, domestic assaults, suicides and accidents. Whatever the context - political conflict, crime, domestic assault - the availability of small arms hastens an escalation to deadly violence.
It is now widely accepted that public and private expressions of Violence Against Women (VAW) are not mutually exclusive, but rather are mutually reinforcing. It would appear in violent crime that men are often random targets, with the perpetrator a stranger, yet women are targeted because they are women, often in their home and by some one they know. It is not surprising that women account for the majority of victims in domestic violence worldwide.
Today, it is clear that it is the task of the entire international community to fight all manifestations of VAW, which result in gender inequality and have a direct impact on how safe women feel in their daily lives at home, in their workplace and in public spaces.
The conference theme is 'Building Inclusive Cities' and highlights how the concept of women's safety can be used as an entry point to action on VAW and women's rights through the strategic convening of key urban stakeholders and decision-makers, including those women whose voices and perspectives would not otherwise be heard.
It will bring together a diverse international community working in the fields of safe cities for women, women's rights and VAW to build upon collective experience through capacity building, knowledge-sharing and visioning activities.
For more information see the attached conference concept note.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.
Women's Network Coordinator
International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA)
56-64 Leonard Street,
London, EC2A 4LT, UK
Ph + 44 207 065 0876
Fx + 44 207 065 0871