TerraViva United Nations

Online Discussion on Prevention of Violence Against Women

NEW YORK , Jul 31 2012 (IPS) - UN Women [http://www.unwomen.org/ ], which  has launched an online discussion about violence against women,  is offering a chance to civil society organizations worldwide to provide their views from their own cultures.

The two week long platform, which is taking place through 3 August,  will emphasize two main aspects of the gender based violence. During  the first week the focus was on prevention and the second week on  an analysis of the services and responses to the victims. Over 1,300 people have requested to join the online discussion, thought not everybody is participating.

“The inputs we’re given – on gaps and challenges in these areas, on what’s being done well, on what areas are being neglected – will be collated, analysed and fed into two Secretary-General reports for Commission members” Jo Baker, the moderator told IPS.


Lara Aharonian, one of the founders of the Women’s Resource Center [http://www.womenofarmenia.org/en/ ] in Armenia, noted that one of the main gaps when dealing with gender based violence is education. There is a lack of programmes addressing the prevention of violence in primary, secondary and higher levels of education.


Their work seeks to fight “gender stereotypes in the Armenian society and patriarchal values that prevent women to become decision makers and self-determined citizens,” Aharonian said. Heera Boodhun, a teacher in Criminal Justice at the University of Mauritius, pointed out the still reigning patriarchal views in some cultures, including new generations.

“Even if the young generation tries to be more accommodating and liberal, believing more in equality, it is sad to note that deep inside there is still the dominating patriarchal views of the woman having to take most responsibility for the household, kids and family.” Boodhun told IPS.

In Nigeria,  Delta Women [http://deltawomen.org/ ] works with women on the ground. From their experience  psycho-social rehabilitation of victims of violence should get more attention.

Elsie Reed, the founder, told IPS: “We work to help them rebuild their lives through the use of education and trauma care to be able to tide over the difficulties of coping with violence in the past.”

Lara Thomas is the founder of The MILLA Project [http://millaproject.org/ ], an international organization that works in America, Middle East and North Africa regions.

In Afghanistan, the MILLA Project has partnered with Pashtun Organization for Women, run by Ariana Karzai – Afghanistan’s President Karzai’s niece.  “Together, we will bring social education, critical thinking skills,micro-finance, micro-loans and women’s center(s) to a few isolated villages in the Nangarhar province” [East of the capital, Kabul], said Thomas.

Baker explained that isolated initiatives from organizations show limited effect on the attitudes and behaviours.  “Broad and sustainable change can only be achieved when such activities are implemented in a long-term and cumulative way, mutually reinforced across various settings,” Baker told IPS.

The online discussion will gather all these views and ideas in order to see what are the priorities on the ground. The outcomes will be published in a report on the Commission on the Status on Women [http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/csw/index.html ] website on September.

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