Ms. Colakovic discussed the status of women in Bosnia, where 25% of peacekeepers are required to be women. Currently, 10 safe houses for women exist and victims of domestic violence are now more encouraged to report violence to NGOs and agencies working on issues related to domestic violence and protection. Ms. Colakovic stated that the most common form of violence is psychological followed by physical and sexual abuse.
Ms. Sisic asserted that to feel safe and protected is a human right. Violence against women and girls is a global human rights issue fueled by a global power imbalance. She stated that political action–not just political will–must be increased. Ms. Swahn explained that gender based violence and the global burden of alcohol are both barriers for development. People who are intoxicated have increased risk of rape and sexual violence, and very little research exists in areas where high levels of alcohol use take place, such as in African countries. Mr. Cortez introduced an initiative that UNDP and WHO are working together on to reduce alcohol consumption. The goal of this conference is to interfere with health policy specifically in Africa, where alcohol policies have gotten stuck in draft phases.
Ms. Rojhani discussed how non-communicable diseases affect women and how they undermine sustainable development. At least half of the 40 million people with HIV are women, and women who have experienced violence are up to three times more likely to be infected with HIV. Women in general are less responsive to health systems because of a lack of screening, a “one size fits all” approach, and lack of access.
Meeting: Three Major Epidemics Burdening Women: Community and Policy Action to Empower Women (organized by the Permanent Mission of Bosnia and Herzegovina and IOGT International)
Date & Location: 18 March 2015, Conference Room E, UN Headquarters, New York
Speakers: Kristina Sperkova, IOGT International; Aldijana Sisic, UN Trust Fund to End Women Against Violence; Adis Arnautovic, CEM Bosnia and Herzegovina; John Mututho, NACADA Kenya; Clifton Cortez, UNDP HIV, Health & Development Group; Ariella Rojhani, NCD Alliance; Monica Swahn, Georgia State University; H.E. Mirsada Colakovic, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the UN
Written by WIT Representative: Paige Stokols
Edited by WIT Representative: Philip Bracey