Peace on earth, war in the home

Peace on earth, war in the home

Date: March 6, 2010
  • SHARE:

Around the world on 8 March, thousands of women (and men!) worldwide will celebrate International Women’s Day by gathering on bridges from San Francisco to Congo to call for an end to war and demonstrate that women can build the bridges of peace and hope. This action, organised by Women to Women International, is just one of the actions by communities and organisations in the global campaign “Say NO UNiTE to End Violence Against Women,” initiated by the United Nations Secretary General.

As of 2 March 2010, the UNiTE campaign announced that it’s website had registered 183,132 actions by communities and organisations from at least 190 countries around the world. Just three days later, this number had increased to 190,442 actions. This far surpasses the initial goal for Say NO of stimulating more than 100,000 actions by International Women’s Day.

At the international level, the campaign calls on governments, civil society, the private sector and the entire UN system to join forces in addressing this global pandemic. “Until the violence stops, we have no freedom and without each other they will be no freedom,” said a participant at CSW 54 session.

On the sidelines of the CSW 54 Session, UNIFEM launched a Global Virtual Knowledge Centre to End Violence against Women and Girls. The web-based knowledge centre brings together lessons learned and recommended practices gleaned from initiatives on ending violence against women and girls, whether originating from the women’s movement, civil society organisations, governments, the United Nations system or other actors.

All these initiatives showcased at the CSW, together with the number of registered actions on the Say No website, demonstrate that the world is not resting on its laurels. Each action no matter how small counts when put together as a collective. Together, these initiatives weave a rich tapestry of solutions to one day end probably the most wide-spread human rights violation,” said UNIFEM Deputy Executive Director Moez Doraid at an event that brought together global stakeholders to discuss solutions.

Governments are also actively involved in the campaign. Speaking at the same Say NO event at CSW, Eva-Britt Svensson, a member of the European Parliament, mentioned that she spearheaded a Declaration of the European Parliament that calls for a Year of Zero Tolerance on Violence against Women in the context of Say NO. The UN put together a Trust Fund where different UN agencies contribute to put resources into violence against women.

Young women are also gearing up with innovative strategies and new technologies that helps access the younger generation. “Girls worldwide say NO to violence against women. It is easy to work with Say NO-you can change your Facebook status to let others know about the campaign, you can organise in your own ways to Say NO to violence against women and girls!” said Maria Jose Proano and Nefeli Themeli. These young delegates of the 10 million member World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts from Ecuador and Greece, announced their individual commitment to engage their peers from different countries through non-formal educational activities and a poster competition on violence against women and girls.

At an earlier Sixteen Days Campaign round table discussion on 4 March, the Global Centre for Women Leadership announced the possibility of a multiyear theme related to structures of violence and intersections between militarism and GBV, an issue relevant not only to countries experiencing armed conflict but also women living in countries that manufacture these arms. Women in these supply based countries need to campaign for manufacturers to shut down or any other actions that may prevent the proliferation of small arms into communities even in times of peace.

As one delegate from Mozambique, in reference to a book written in her country and the post conflict situation – “there is now peace in my country but continue to remember that women in many homes and private spaces are in war.”

Loveness Jambaya is the Assistant Director: Southern Africa Gender Protocol Alliance at Gender Links. This article is part of the GL Opinion and Commentary Service, produced during Beijing +15.

Comment on Peace on earth, war in the home

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *