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Preventing violence against women Copenhagen, 4 September 2008 Dr. Marsha Scott UK Joint Committee on Women European Women’s Lobby European Observatory.

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Presentation on theme: "Preventing violence against women Copenhagen, 4 September 2008 Dr. Marsha Scott UK Joint Committee on Women European Women’s Lobby European Observatory."— Presentation transcript:


2 Preventing violence against women Copenhagen, 4 September 2008 Dr. Marsha Scott UK Joint Committee on Women European Women’s Lobby European Observatory on Violence against Women

3 European Women’s Lobby Established in 1990 Membership based women’s organisation from 25 countries + 17 European and International NGOs 4000 members - largest umbrella organisation of women’s associations in the European Union (EU)

4 The EWL Mission To work together to achieve equality between women and men To promote the empowerment of all women To combat all forms of violence against women and to ensure women’s human rights are taken into consideration in all EU policy

5 EWL work to combat violence against women -EU-wide Observatory on Violence Against Women: NGO experts from 25+ countries who share best practice and identify emerging issues -Support for development of national EWL Observatories on VAW (FR, IRL, GR, FIN, DK) -Research, e.g., domestic violence incidence and indicators, seminars, conferences, campaigns -Work with EU/Global institutions to combat VAW

6 Nordic-Baltic pilot project for the support, protection, safe return and rehabilitation of women victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation. (8 countries involved in development of model) EWL-Coalition Against Trafficking in Women project ‘Promoting Preventative Measures to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings for Sexual Exploitation.’ (14 countries involved in focusing on countering demand for prostitution/trafficking of women and girls)

7 Domestic violence to violence against women Domestic violence early focus in developed countries Analysis of women’s real lives and experiences—and of social change agenda— requires a broader understanding Domestic violence just one feature of a continuum of violence in women’s lives

8 Defining VAW: Council of Europe (2002) Women need protection from: a. violence occurring in the family or domestic unit, including, inter alia, physical and mental aggression, emotional and psychological abuse, rape and sexual abuse, incest, rape between spouses, regular or occasional partners and cohabitants, crimes committed in the name of honor, female genital and sexual mutilation and other traditional practices harmful to women, such as forced marriages;

9 b. violence occurring within the general community, including, inter alia, rape, sexual abuse, sexual harassment and intimidation at work, in institutions or elsewhere, trafficking in women for the purposes of sexual exploitation and economic exploitation and sex tourism; c. violence perpetrated or condoned by the state or its officials; d. violation of the human rights of women in situations of armed conflict, in particular the taking of hostages, forced displacement, systematic rape, sexual slavery, forced pregnancy, and trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation and economic exploitation.”

10 Violence against women includes? EWL believes it is necessary to combat all forms of violence against women, including rape, sexual assault, pornography, prostitution, female genital mutilation, sexual harassment and domestic violence.

11 The elimination of violence against women is a fundamental principle in the struggle for equality between women and men. Violence against women is both a cause and a consequence of women’s inequality.

12 What is Denmark’s causal story? Gendered analysis key to identifying social drivers of violence Women’s inequality is supported by systemic, entrenched social structures—financial, cultural, etc. Effective prevention requires vision of alternative and strategic approach

13 Women’s inequality and VAW Link parallel social justice agendas Points for intervention at key intersections Key intersections specific to national policy context, e.g., criminal justice reform, anti- violence campaigns, equal pay, care issues Windows of opportunity: transitions in power, leadership

14 Are we serious about ending violence against women? Number of strategic prevention plans at national level using a gendered analysis = 0 “There are insufficient programmes aimed at primary prevention—measures to stop violence before it happens—compared with secondary or tertiary prevention... community and societal strategies are under-emphasised compared with programmes addressing individual and relationship factors.” (WHO, 2003)

15 Planning prevention Clarity about scope of task: Based on gendered policy making Primary (anti-violence and equality agendas) Secondary (preventing re-victimisation, re- offending) Long-term outcomes, short-term indicators Ad hoc versus holistic planning

16 Ad hoc versus holistic approaches Prevention suffers from “stand-alone awareness campaigns, workshops with specific sectors, or the production of a brochure, poster or radio programme. The task of challenging an entrenched value system is complex, and in efforts to make it manageable, a ‘do what you can’ strategy is often adopted, with the underlying assumption being that doing something is better than doing nothing”. (Michau 2007)

17 Individual AND societal interventions Programmes and interventions aimed at encouraging individuals and small groups of people to re-examine their attitudes (while important) offer limited impact at societal level Community-wide, social shifts are critical

18 Community mobilisation Synthesises values underpinning individual activities Rests on a long-term plan for managing social change at the community level Establishes a practical “sequencing” of activities that affect a critical mass of the community “Raising Voices” in East Africa (; “We Can” in South Asia (VAW activists in England developing UK-specific versions of We Can materials)

19 Outcomes for prevention? Outcomes demand clarity Outcomes require: –Time scales –Measurable progress –Meaningful indicators –Resources for delivery

20 Prevention principles Employ gendered analysis and policy making Don’t confuse prevention with adequate service provision for survivors Distinguish primary and secondary prevention, individual and community-wide change Commit to the long haul: ending violence against women challenges foundations of our society

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