“It’s important to be aware of what’s going on in the world and to think about how you can start to make a difference, even when you’re a kid.”
The campaign to ensure women's equal participation at the peace talks on Syria in January has become more urgent, as
The effective participation of women and attention to women's rights issues is a critical element in achieving a just
"Reconciliation means working together to correct the legacy of past injustice,” in the words of Madiba, Nelson Mande
The NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security is pleased to announce the release of our new NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security report, "Mapping Women, Peace and Security in the UN Security Council: 2012-2013." The report analyzes reports, meetings, presidential statements, and resolutions, nine thematic and general issues, in relation to 30 country situations, evaluating the degree to which women, peace and security obligations are being met.
The Nobel Women's Initiative, in collaboration with the International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict, is pleased to present a new report, Survivors Speak Out: Sexual Violence in Sudan.
Highlighting the testimonies of sexual violence survivors from across Sudan—and the grassroots women's groups who face immense risk to support them—the report provides a picture of the crisis women across Sudan face everyday. Rape is used as a weapon to destroy communities and to suppress political opposition and women live in a system where they are punished for being raped.
The report will launch online Friday, December 6 at 9:00am EST, with an event at the Dutch Embassy in Canada to mark the occasion.
An advanced copy of the Survivors Speak Out: Sexual Violence in Sudan can be viewed online or by downloading it from page.
Join the Nobel Women's Initiative, Friday at 9:00am EST in sharing the voices of the women directly impacted by violence, ensuring they are no longer silenced.
Below are sample social media posts to get you started in sharing the report with your networks on Friday.
Sample Facebook Post:
#SurvivorsSpeakOut in Sudan highlighting a crisis of sexual violence. Rape is being used as a weapon of war and political repression across the country, as the government attempts to silence survivors. Read the newest report from the International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict highlights survivors and the grassroots women's groups speaking out and breaking the silence on a crisis:http://bit.ly/SurvivorsSpeakOut-Sudan
#SurvivorsSpeakOut on crisis of sexual violence in Sudan – read new report from @StopRapeCmpgn now: http://bit.ly/SurvivorsSpeakOut-Sudan
#SurvivorsSpeakOut in new @StopRapeCmpgn report: SV used as weapon of war & political repression in Sudan - http://bit.ly/SurvivorsSpeakOut-Sudan
US Office on Colombia is an organization in Washington DC that works to advocate for human rights in Colombia, particularly by educating civil society and US policy makers on the effects of US policy on human rights in Colombia. One of their areas of work is sexual violence within the context of the armed conflict. They recently worked with partners at ABColombia in the UK and Sisma Mujer in Colombia to co-write a report titled "Colombia: Women, Conflict-Related Sexual Violence, and the Peace Process."
For the entire report, click here
PRESIDENCY OF THE SECURITY COUNCIL FOR DECEMBER: FRANCE
Click here to download the full MAP.
From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World:Let's Challenge Militarism and End Violence Against Women!
The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign continues the theme of “From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Let's Challenge Militarism and End Violence Against Women!” in 2013. After an open call for input, feedback was received from the 16 Days network of participant activists and organizations working on human rights, gender-based violence, and social justice issues worldwide.
The 2013 16 Days Campaign advocates for awareness and action on the multi-faceted intersections of gender-based violence and militarism, while highlighting the connection between the struggle for economic and social rights and ending gender-based violence. The theme focuses on militarism as a creation and normalization of a culture of fear that is supported by the use or threat of violence, aggression, as well as military intervention in response to political and social disputes or to enforce economic and political interests.1
Militarism is a system of structural violence that infringes upon the human rights and human dignity, safety, and security of women, men, and children in nearly every country and region of the world.2 The impact of militarism can be seen in the way national budgets are allocated for health services, education, and public spaces versus military budgets; in legislation and policies that marginalize women and minorities; in discriminatory policies and acts enforced or condoned by state authorities; and in military response versus diplomacy to political and social issues.
The Campaign emphasizes that women's rights are human rights, and acknowledges the role of patriarchal systems that embody harmful traditions and legal policies that normalize violence against women, and deny women their right to a life of dignity.
Focus for Action
The 16 Days Campaign will focus on three priority areas while underlining the intersections of economic and social rights with militarism and gender-based violence:
1. Violence Perpetrated by State Actors: State actors use the threat or act of violence to maintain or attain power. They claim a need to protect state security by unleashing violence on those deemed a threat; and they sexually and physically assault Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRDs), protestors, and dissenters fighting for political, economic, social, and sexual rights. Police, judges, and prosecutors harass women victimized by gender-based violence into silence. In some places, women are punished for the sexual violence committed against them. The prevalence of State impunity for crimes against its peoples, those of other countries, and stateless peoples is a grave challenge to ending gender-based violence and militarism and achieving the realization of women's human rights.
States are tasked with due diligence - to respect, protect, and promote the human rights of all people. Still, women and girls throughout the world continue to be denied access to economic and social rights (the right to work, education, food, and water for example), while WHRDs who advocate for these human rights are harassed, assaulted, or killed by state sanctioned authorities. Seen as transgressors of sexual and gender norms and the traditional “private” space assigned to them in their communities and countries, WHRDs remain targets of State violence and imprisonment.
In Egypt, during recent protests WHRDs endured harassment as well as sexual and physical assault at the hands of men protestors, soldiers, and police, and were forced to have virginity tests while imprisoned. In Honduras, transgender WHRDs face economic, political, and social discrimination, and extrajudicial killings perpetrated or condoned by State authorities.3 In Iran, WHRDs are routinely targeted by the State, who often claims these women are a threat to the moral order of society or are working with subversive elements against the integrity of the State.
WHRDs, especially indigenous women, are fighting and dying to protect the forests, waters, and lands that are pivotal to their communities' economic and social well-being.4 They are fighting to keep ancestral lands from theft or destructive use by the State and private sector,5 and curb human rights abuses of wind, mining, water, logging industries6, and of factory labor.
Domestic Violence and the Role of Small Arms: Domestic violence continues to occur in every region of the world, with the majority of the world's women experiencing violence inflicted by an intimate partner at some point in their lives. Statistics show that having a gun in the home increases the risk of someone being murdered by 41%, while for women in the context of domestic/intimate partner violence, the risk is increased by 272%.7
The proliferation of small arms, which include guns, machetes, and knives, increases the threat of injury or death for women and children and normalizes masculinity with acts of violence. Many countries have instituted legislation and reforms against domestic/intimate partner violence, but implementation of protections and services for survivors of violence, and stronger reforms against the proliferation of small arms have yet to be fully realized. Economic dependence and exploitation is a contributing factor to why women remain in domestic violence situations. Women's economic independence is imperative to empowerment over their lives and enjoyment of human rights.
Sexual Violence During and After Conflict: Violent conflict increases the vulnerabilities of women and girls, where rape, sexual slavery, mutilation, forced impregnation, and forced “marriage” occur against them at a higher rate than during times of relative peace. 8 Vulnerabilities rise especially for women and girls who are collecting water or firewood, tending to fields, living in refugee or internally displaced camps, or in areas overrun with fighting between militias or state military. Sexual violence, in its various forms, is used as a weapon to instill fear and maintain power over communities by armed militias and State authorities. Furthermore, soldiers, as well as mandated peacekeepers, have been guilty of abusing or raping women and girls in refugee camps.9 Local women who work or live near military bases experience sexual violence at the hands of foreign troops stationed in the area.10
Many women continue to feel the effects of their abuse in psychological, physical, and social terms after the official end of violent conflict. Most cultures and traditions stigmatize and punish women who have been sexually violated. Instead of support, they often face ostracization by their families and communities after experiencing sexual violence. In places where there are competing power structures, women and girls are also vulnerable to being bartered or traded to settle disputes, to pay off debts, or improve social, political, and business relations.11
Campaign with Us
As always, the 16 Days Campaign encourages participants to focus on areas that are most relevant to their specific context. Participants may consider how they can engage with their governments and communities to challenge and change in positive terms the structures that perpetuate gender-based violence.
Take Action Kit Materials 2013
The Center for Women's Global Leadership has developed materials for the 2013 Take Action Kit (TAK), which contain resources to help support activities during the 16 Days Campaign. CWGL will make these materials available in multiple languages in August. Participants can visit our website (http://16days.cwgl.rutgers.edu) to download the Take Action Kit materials or to request a hard copy.
Connect With Us & Learn More
16 Days Campaign website: http://16dayscwgl.rutgers.edu
Join the 16 Days Listserv: https://email.rutgers.edu/mailman/listinfo/16days_discussion
Post and search events on the online Campaign Calendar: http://16dayscwgl.rutgers.edu/campaign-calendar
Twitter: #16days; @16DaysCampaign; @CWGLRutgers
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