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
The Commission on the Status of Women held a panel discussion on the active involvement of males in achieving gender equality. Kristin Hetle delivered an opening speech framing the difficulties in attaining equality. Often, gender-based violence (GBV) is considered the only hurdle left. Hetle asserted that, though violence is a serious matter, gender equality requires a more nuanced solution. It is crucial to target harmful underlying mentalities. In her home country of Norway, a university conducted a study in which participants were asked to choose between equally qualified male and female job candidates. Participants of both genders considered the male candidate as more qualified. Based on this, Hetle argued that our society is still subconsciously subject to gender inequality. She asked for men to not be silent bystanders to gender inequality.
Professor Hashimoto spoke briefly on the state of GBV in Japan, a country with notable levels of domestic violence. Luckily, there is significant progress0–more and more women report to domestic violence centers and do not suffer the blame for their abuse. However, Japan suffers from insufficient legal measures to rein in the sex industry, an area in which underage females may be at risk.
A representative from DIRE, a network of Italian equality organizations, asked whether gender-balanced panels were discriminatory for prioritizing gender over knowledge. She also asked about education practices used to instill values of gender equality. To answer, Sasdamoiden stated that, at least in the EU, there are consistent structural issues present in choosing panels, and skill is overshadowed by biases that see men as being more qualified than women. Gender-balanced panels thus adjust for this.
Meeting: #thingsmendo: Men and Boys against Gender Stereotypes and Violence against Women
Sponsor: Commission on the Status of Women (NGO CSW)
Date & Location: 11 March 2015, Conference Room 11, UN Headquarters, New York
Speakers: Kristin Hetle, UN Director of Strategic Partnerships for Women; Giovanna Martelli, Gender Equality Advisor to the Prime Minister of Italy; Hiroko Hashimoto, Professor of Women’s Studies at Jumonji University; Polish Plenipotentiary on the Equal Status of Women; Sala Sasdamoiden, Representative of European Commission’s Gender Equality Strategy
Written By WIT Representative: Alis Yoo
Edited by WIT Representative: Philip Bracey