Archive for the ‘violence’ Category

Event Recap: A Call to Action on Violence Against Women and Girls

Monday, December 8th, 2014

A Call to Action on Violence Against Women and Girls—The US Launch of the Lancet Series on Violence Against Women and Girls

by Staff Contributor Camry Haskins

Lancet_VAWG
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!

16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence

Friday, November 21st, 2014

16DaysAgainstGenderViolence

 

Tuesday, November 25, marks the 14 year anniversary of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. This day commemorates the lives of the three Mirabel sisters who were assassinated for their political activism against the Dominican Republic dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo on November 25, 1960. In their home country of the Dominican Republic they are recognized as national martyrs, and in December of 1999, the United Nations decided that their cause deserved yearly commemoration.

The International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women kicks off the yearly 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence. The 16 days end on December 10, of each year which falls on International Human Rights Day. This year’s theme, Orange the World in 16 Days, is tied into the UN’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign, which has designated the 25th of each month as Orange Day. Wearing orange on the 25th, is an opportunity to show support for this campaign to end the violence that affects 1 in 3 women around the world.

Events are taking place around the world to advance the mission of eradicating gender based violence. In Washington DC, on December 3, there will be two events in honor of this activism. The first of the two will be held at George Washington University, and will be a launch of the Lancet edition dedicated to violence against women. Later in the day a second event will take place at the World Bank Group, launching a Multisectoral Violence Against Women and Girls Resource Guide.

Stay involved through twitter using #orangeurworld and #16days. The Global Gender Program will post more events as they come up, in an effort to spread the word and combat gender based violence. If you are not yet subscribed to our newsletter, subscribe here.

DC Event Update: A Time To Act – Combating Sexual Violence in Syria and Iraq

Friday, November 7th, 2014


time_to_actAisling Swaine Jan 2014

 

 

 

 

We all have busy schedules, which at times prevent us from attending timely and thought-provoking events. If that happened to you last week when George Washington University’s own, Professor Aisling Swaine, was speaking on a panel regarding sexual violence in Syria and Iraq, there is an opportunity to get caught up. To watch the taping of the event, follow this link.

Combating Sexual Violence in Syria and Iraq was hosted by the American Red Cross Humanitarian Law team in partnership with the Global Gender Program.

Org Spotlight: Humanas Colombia

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

humanas colombia

Humanas Colombia

Humanas Colombia is an organization that focuses on human rights and justice for women. The organization’s mission is “the promotion and protection of human rights of women, international humanitarian law and gender justice in Colombia and Latin America.  A group of women within social sciences professions strive to promote and implement initiatives that increase knowledge of women’s situations and the obstacles they must overcome in regards to gender inequalities.

Humanas looks at gender justice and how women are affected by and contribute to issues surrounding peace and security. They question the patriarchal order by searching out biases that violate gender equality. Gender based violence comes out of unequal power relations between the sexes. Gender justice attempts to combat the naturalization of violence against women and gives women access to justice for the crimes committed against them.
Humanas’ mission is inspired by the following values:

  • The universal and indivisible human rights as the basis for addressing multiple discriminations affecting women.
  • Democracy building guide egalitarian relationships in ways of thinking, feeling and acting.
  • Diversity, recognition of multiple social realities
  • Cooperation promotes working in partnership with groups of similar interests.
  • Solidarity promotes the defense of the rights of women in all contexts.
  • Transparency characterizes the management of resources, information and accountability.
  • Resilience, as an individual and collective capacity, can face problems, solve them and emerge stronger.

Humanas has developed research, training, and monitoring to advance their goal of justice for women. One specific initiative they have developed, Peace with Women, is dedicated to spreading and recognizing efforts by women to build peace in the midst of war. This project creates a space for women to come together to rebuild the social fabric, strengthen local democracy and peace processes, overcome poverty, undertake processes of truth, justice and reparation and to oppose war and the militarization of their lives. They give women a voice by creating an avenue for them to tell their stories.

The organization’s fundamental premise is for peace building in the country to involve not only the negotiation of the armed conflict, but the construction of new gender pacts that enable social inclusion of women and the full exercise of their rights.

Speaking women’s rights to power

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

Alison Brysk, Mellichamp professor of Global Governance in the Global and International Studies Program at the University of California, Santa Barbara. In April, she spoke at the Elliott School on “Stopping Violence against Women.” Her talk covered a wide range of topics from honor killings to sex-selective abortion and sex trafficking of girls and women. Her presentation drew from her 2013 book, Speaking Rights to Power.

Speaking Rights to Power cover. Source: Oxford University Press.

Speaking Rights to Power cover. Source: Oxford University Press.

A foundation of her argument is that women’s rights are a category of human rights and must therefore be given similar attention. She presented basic facts and figures documenting the problem of unequal rights for girls and women around the world. She argued that girls and women live in a “climate of insecurity” that includes life in militarized contexts, refugee camps, and poverty. A new area of research is to highlight how urbanization, male youth unemployment, and political corruption are leading to high and rising rates of violence against girls and women in cities.

Beyond documenting the problems and their local dimensions, Brysk also discussed what various countries, global organizations, and civil society are doing to address violence against women. She talked about “information politics” which promotes women’s voices and self-determination by putting a human face on violence against women – “framing the claim” — and creating awareness and mobilizing support.

In conclusion, she noted that constructing political will to support women’s rights as human rights is key as well as engaging men in the campaign moving forward to change rape culture to gender justice.

Professor Brysk’s talk was sponsored by the Elliott School’s Global Gender Program through its Global Gender Forum Series. The Elliott School’s Web Video Initiative provides a taped version of the presentation.

New Report: “Like a Bird with Broken Wings”: Afghan Women Oral History

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

CaptureThis new UN Women Report, produced by the organization’s Country Office in Afghanistan, records women’s experiences with violence over three decades of conflict.

“The untold stories of Afghan women who have suffered great violence in the past three decades of the country’s turbulent history have been documented by UN Women in a report produced by its Country office in Afghanistan. The report provides a ‘voice to those denied a place in official history’ and chronicles the personal memories and recollections of women who have either experienced sexual and physical violence, witnessed that of a close family member, or indirectly suffered as a consequence of it, during the years of conflict. 

Harrowing tales of sexual violence during the years of conflict are a grim reminder of the suffering that Afghan women have experienced. As one woman puts it: ‘We have all suffered.’

The testimonies contained in the report cover the timespan between 1978, when Soviet Union tanks rolled into Afghanistan, up until 2008. The reporting itself took place between December 2007 and June 2008 in seven provinces: Kabul, Kandahar, Jowzjan, Balkh, Bamyan, Daikundi and Herat.”

GW event: From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World – Let’s End Violence against Women

Friday, November 15th, 2013

This international video conference will link the George Washington University with Lahore College for Women’s University (LCWU) in Pakistan for a live student discussion to mark the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence. It will provide the opportunity for students at both universities to share views about challenges and prospects for change. The event is part of a new three-year partnership between GW and LCWU funded by the U.S. Department of State.

Convenors/moderators: Professor Barbara Miller, Elliott School, GW

Professor Shaista Khilji, Graduate School of Education and Human Development, GW

Professor Sarah Shahed, Chair, Department of Gender and Development Studies, LCWU

When: Tuesday, December 3 | 8:30 AM-10:00 AM

Where: 1957 E Street NW, Lindner Family Commons, 6th floor

To RSVP for this event: go.gwu.edu/LCWU

Sponsored by the Elliott School’s Global Gender Program (GGP). Coffee/tea/juices will be provided.

 

Neither War nor Peace in the DRC: Special journal issue

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

untitledThe latest issue of the Review of African Political Economy is devoted to articles on the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is entitled, Neither War nor Peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC): Profiting and Coping Amid Violence and Disorder.

Articles discuss “Balkanization” of the Congo, minerals and violence, dealing with rape vs. health aid, the business of military, and the role of religious groups in post-conflict development.

DC conference: Student proposals sought on diversity in conflict/divided societies

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

GUpage1The Georgetown University Conflict Resolution Program is calling for student papers, art, and videography for their conference, “Managing Diversity in Divided Societies.” Submissions should address the following questions:

What tools and mechanisms best promote diversity? How is diversity best approached in conflict societies? How can the arts be used to engage diversity and enhance societal well being?

Cash prizes will be awared to the top three finalists in the categories of diversity, conflict, and peace-building. Submissions are open to third and fourth year undergraduate students and graduate students.

Abstracts will be accepted until October 15th. Submissions are due on December 1st. The conference will be held on January 30-31st.

Send questions and submissions to: diversityconference@georgetown.edu

New book: Sex and International Tribunals

Thursday, September 19th, 2013

Sex and International Tribunals: The Erasure of Gender from the War Narrative by Chiseche Salome Mibenge has just been published by the University of Pennsylvania Press in the Pennsylvania Studies in Human Rights series.

Sex and International Tribunals: The Erasure of Gender from the War Narrative, Photo courtesy of UPenn Press.

Sex and International Tribunals: The Erasure of Gender from the War Narrative, Photo courtesy of UPenn Press.

Mibenge discusses the book in an interview in August, saying that her book documents an undeniable fact: sex is a weapon of war and a weapon that is used frequently against both women and men.“Sexual violence is a strategy of war,” says Professor Mibenge, who is a member of Lehman College’s Political Science department.

But “The idea of making sex a war crime under international law, however, is a new idea.” It was only after the atrocities that were committed in two separate conflicts during the 1990s in Eastern Europe, where the former Republic of Yugoslavia was torn apart by religious and ethnic violence, and in the African nation of Rwanda, that things began to change. In each case, rape and sexual crimes were committed on such a mass scale that the international community took notice and acted.

“Sex is used as a way of degrading women,” she says. “It’s a form of physical and psychological torture.” During the Rwanda Genocide in the 1990s, male soldiers would tell their rape victims that they would die of sadness. “They would tell the women ‘I don’t have to waste a bullet on you,’” she says. “But men are not spared.”

View the book’s table of contents.