This meeting was held to address the continuum of violence against women. Ms. Mlambo-ngcuka started the discussion by stating the importance in changing social norms and cultures in order to make an impact. Simply changing laws and guidelines will not be enough to actually impact the many societies plagued by violence against women. Dr. Phavi continued by pointing out that different countries around the world have different needs in terms of policies and guidelines, so a blanket policy would not be sufficient. Dr. Phavi also talked about the need for extra care and counseling for the victims of violence and sexual abuse.
Ms. Cash talked about Australia’s effort in combating violence against women. She stated that it is important to work with the perpetrators to further understand why people commit these crimes and have mentalities that support gender inequality. Mr. Akhtar stated the importance of men and boys in this discussion–it is they who must understand to respect and care for women in order for a change to take place in the world.
Ms. Bangura said that after a woman is violated and abused, she should be given psychosocial help as well as sufficient help to readjust back into her community. The final speaker was Ms. Kapoor, whose main points dealt with the accountability of sex-based crimes. Police officers, judges, and people in positions of power need to accept and understand that violence against women is a serious crime. It is important to women that the perpetrators are properly punished and dealt with.
Meeting: Addressing the Continuum of Violence Against Women and girls
Date & Location: 11 March 2015, Conference Room 1, UN Headquarters, New York
Speakers: Ms. Phumzile mlambo-ngcuka, United Nations Under-Secretary-General, Executive Director of UN Women; H.E. Dr. Ing Kantha Phavi, Minister of Women’s Affairs; Ms. Michaelia Clare Cash, Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women; Mr. Farhan Akhtar, Representative of Men Against Rape and Discrimination; Ms. Zainab Hawa Bangura, Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict; Ms. Anuradha Kapoor
Written by WIT Representative: Brian Lee
Edited by WIT Representative: Philip Bracey