IWTC Women's GlobalNet #310
Activities and Initiatives of Women Worldwide

November 9, 2006
By Sofia Binioris and Lilla Osztrovszki

1.  SECRETARY GENERAL LAUNCHES REPORT ON VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

2.  REPORT ON VIOLENCE AGAINST CHILDREN

3.  REPORT OF THE SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR ON VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

4.  CELEBRATE 16 YEARS OF 16 DAYS: ADVANCE HUMAN RIGHTS – END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

5.  NEW BOOKS ON WOMEN’S HUMAN RIGHTS AND VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

 

1. SECRETARY GENERAL LAUNCHES REPORT ON VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

“Violence against women persists in every country in the world as a pervasive violation of human rights and a major impediment to achieving gender equality,” says the landmark UN Secretary-General’s 140-page “In-Depth Study on All Forms of Violence Against Women.”  The study, in response to a 2003 UN General Assembly request, was conducted by the Division for the Advancement of Women in cooperation with an committee of 10 internationally recognized experts in the field of gender violence.  After an introduction and overview, the report analyzes the context and causes of violence against women; the forms, consequences, and costs of violence against women; data collection; responsibility of states to address violence against women; promising practices in combating violence against women; and concludes with a series of recommendations.

 

The report is the first of its kind to emerge from such a high level within the UN and is momentous in its scope and assessment of violence against women as a major international human rights violation stemming from systematic discrimination against women worldwide.  It documents the persistence of all forms of violence against women and seeks to strengthen political commitment to end such violence.  A resolution on violence against women pegged to the study is currently being drafted in the Third Committee, sponsored by the Netherlands and France.  As this resolution is still in “closed sessions,” further information is unavailable at this time.

 

To view the full report, please visit: http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/vaw/violenceagainstwomenstudydoc.pdf

Once it is released in publication form, the full report will also be available through Women, Ink.

 

2. REPORT ON VIOLENCE AGAINST CHILDREN

The recently-released Report of the Independent Expert for the United Nations Study on Violence Against Children provides a broad view on the several types of violence against children within the family, schools, alternative care institutions and detention facilities, places where children work, and their communities. 

The study was prepared through a participatory process which included regional, subregional, and national consultations, expert thematic meetings and field visits.   In 2004, the independent expert transmitted questionnaires to a number of governments who provided responses for the report.

 

This study is the first comprehensive, worldwide study conducted by the United Nations on all forms of violence against children.  It builds on a previous study on the impact of armed conflict on children, which was prepared by Graça Machel and presented to the General Assembly 10 years ago, and is inspired by the World Health Organization’s World Report on Violence and Health (October, 2002).  It is also the first global study to engage directly with children.  Children participated in all regional consultations held in connection with the Study, describing both the violence they experience and their proposals for ending it.  This report is particularly timely, as the theme for the 2006 Commission on the Status of Women is the elimination of all forms of discrimination and violence against the girl child.

 

For more information, visit: http://www.unicef.org/violencestudy/reports/SG_violencestudy_en.pdf.

 

3. REPORT OF THE SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR ON VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN –

The annual report of the Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, submitted by Special Rapporteur Yakin Erturk to the UN Commission on Human Rights in January 2006, focuses on the due diligence standard as a tool for effective implementation of women’s human rights.  As provided for in the Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Violence Against Women, the due diligence standard provides a measure to determine whether a State has met or failed to meet its obligations in combating violence against women.  The report begins with a brief summary of the Rapporteur’s activities over the course of the year.  It then provides an introduction and historical background on the due diligence standards, underlying principles, current applications, obstacles for broadening the vision of rights, the potential of the due diligence standard, and a series of conclusions.

 

According to the study, the application of due diligence has been limited to responding to violence against women when it occurs through legislative reform and the provision of services; the current challenge is to expand the standard to make it more effective in addressing the root causes of violence against women through existing human rights standards and through the obligations of State and non-State actors in transforming societal values and institutions and effectively responding to violence against women.

 

For more information, visit: http://www.ohchr.org/english/issues/women/rapporteur/

 

4. CELEBRATE 16 YEARS OF 16 DAYS: ADVANCE HUMAN RIGHTS – END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN (25 NOVEMBER – 10 DECEMBER)

The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence is an international campaign initiated by the Centre for Women's Global Leadership (CWGL) in 1991.  Participants chose the dates, November 25, International Day Against Violence Against Women and December 10, International Human Rights Day, in order to symbolically link violence against women and human rights, reaffirming that violations of women’s rights are violations of human rights.  Approximately 1,700 organizations in 130 countries have participated in the 16 Days Campaign since it began!

 

During this year’s 16 Days period, the following events are among those taking place around the world.  In Gauteng, South Africa, an information session about gender-based violence and socialisation will be held, aimed at creating awareness on the links between gender-based violence and the ways in which men and women are socialised.  In the Western Cape, a Men’s March will take place under the banner “Mobilising Young Men Against Violence” as well as a workshop and an awareness drive under the banner “Young Men Promoting Non-Violence.”  Additionally, there will be a series of Childs Rights Workshops held in the Western Cape, in Atlantis, Beaufort West, and Delft focusing on the Children’s Act and its implications for the prevention of the abuse and exploitation of children.  In Hungary, a Silent Witness Exhibition will be held in memories of family members killed due to violence against women.

 

In New York, the CWGL will host an event, “Claiming our Rights, Defending our Future: Celebrating 16 Years of 16 Days of Activism,” to take place at the Church Centre Headquarters, 2nd Floor, on 7 December 2006, 5:30-8:00pm.  For more information, visit: http://www.cwgl.rutgers.edu/16days/home.html.

 

5. NEW RESOURCES ON WOMEN’S HUMAN RIGHTS AND VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN FEATURED IN WOMEN, INK. CATALOGUE

A number of new titles on women’s human rights and violence against women appear in the new Women, Ink. Catalogue, featuring some 250 books and training resources on women and development, including the following:

·1    Strengthening Resistance: Confronting Violence Against Women and HIV/AIDS

·2    Realizing our Rights: Holding the State Accountable for Violence Against Women in the Asia-Pacific Region

·3    Forsaken Females: Global Brutalization of Women

·4    Violence, Law and Women’s Rights in South Asia

·5    Trafficking and the Global Sex Industry

To receive a free copy of the Women, Ink. Catalogue, please send an e-mail with your mailing address to joey@iwtc.org or write to: Women, Ink., c/o International Women’s Tribune Centre, 777 UN Plaza, flr 3, New York, NY 10017.  You can also visit Women, Ink. online at: www.womenink.org.