A Call to Action on Violence Against Women and Girls—The US Launch of the Lancet Series on Violence Against Women and Girls
On the seventh day of 16 Days Against Gender Based Violence, the Global Women’s Institute (GWI) at George Washington University hosted the US launch of the Lancet Series on Violence Against Women and Girls. The launch opened with the Call to Action followed up by two
panel discussions. The first panel focused on evidence while the second looked at lessons from practice.
Panel one: Prevention of VAWG:
What Does the Evidence Say?
Panel one centered on the research and findings by Mary Ellsberg, Director of GWI, and her team. Ms. Ellsberg was joined by Dr. Lori Heise, Director of the Centre on Gender, Violence and Health and James Tielsch, Chair of the Department of Global Health at the Milken institute School of Public Health. One of their biggest findings was that there is a shortage of research. What research has been conducted is mainly skewed toward high-income countries. When compiling what data there is, it becomes clear that there are
different tendencies for violence at all levels of society. And the percentage of gender-based violence (GBV) can differ between 2 percent and 70 percent depending on location. The fact that the percentages differ so greatly creates hope
that we can greatly reduce violence against women and girls (VAWG). The first panel closed with remarks on what they hoped the future focus would be in regards to VAWG. overall, the consensus was on a push for convergence of research, increased interest in valuations of programs, and increased testing of studies and strategies.
Panel two: Prevention of VAWG:
Lessons from Practice
Lori Michau, Co-founder of Raising Voices and Amy Bank, Co-Founder of Puntos de Encuentro represented their team who put an article together that looked at GBV from the perspective of practice over academics. Rajiv Rimal, Chair of the Department of Prevention and Community Health at the Milken Institute School of Public Health, joined them. Their panel focused heavily on norms and tactics for communicating with communities whose norms supported, or at least did not outlaw, violence against women. Short videos helped to illustrate the change that was taking place in the communities they were working in. They stressed the importance of inclusive projects that educated men and women, as well as, boys and girls. Their take-aways focused on merging the academic world with practice in order to increase the flow of information and prevent bad practices from continuing do to lack of knowledge.
The launch closed with a sense of hope for the future. There is still a lot of work to do, but it is not an impossible endeavor.
Go to GWToday to read more!