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Violence against women as a core equalities issue and towards transnational indicators Liz Kelly Roddick Chair on Violence Against Women London Metropolitan.

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Presentation on theme: "Violence against women as a core equalities issue and towards transnational indicators Liz Kelly Roddick Chair on Violence Against Women London Metropolitan."— Presentation transcript:

1 Violence against women as a core equalities issue and towards transnational indicators Liz Kelly Roddick Chair on Violence Against Women London Metropolitan University

2 In a nutshell The UN context –International law and obligations –Definition, forms and contexts of violence Why VAW as an equalities issue –Some links to employment The SRVAW indicators project –Examples

3 The international context International law/obligations –Beijing Platform for Action –CEDAW –Council of Europe and EU Commission of the Status of Women report for 2005 – Governments should accelerate their efforts towards implementation of comprehensive strategies against violence against women, adequately funded and with a clear time frame. (para 238) – National strategies of plans of action will be major instruments for combating violence against women. (Para 753) Secretary Generals report on VAW, 2006 –Requires addressing violence as a gender equality and human rights issue

4 The Beijing Declaration and the Platform for Action VAW as one of 12 priority areas for action and placed at core of objectives n Violence against women is an obstacle to the achievement of the objectives of equality, development and peace. Violence against women both violates and impairs or nullifies the enjoyment by women of their human rights and fundamental freedoms. The long-standing failure to protect and promote those rights and freedoms in the case of violence women is a matter of concern to all States and should be addressed. Knowledge about its causes and consequences, as well as its incidence and measures to combat it, have been greatly expanded since the Nairobi Conference... The low social and economic status of women can be both a cause and a consequence of violence against women. (Fourth World Conference on Women Beijing, China, 4-15 September A/CONF.177/20 (1995), section D para 112)

5 Definition … the term “violence against women” is understood to mean any act of gender-based violence that is directed against a woman because she is a woman or that affects women disproportionately... It does not address gender-based violence suffered by men. The term “women” is used to cover females of all ages, including girls under the age of 18… manifested in a continuum of multiple, interrelated and sometimes recurring forms… physical, sexual and psychological/emotional violence and economic abuse and exploitation, experienced in a range of settings, from private to public, and in today’s globalized world, transcending national boundaries. (UN Secretary General’s Report on VAW, 2006,para 28 and 104) Deep rooted beliefs and practices, gendered meanings and harms that constitute the micro inequalities of everyday life

6 Forms of VAW For girls, young and adult women Domestic/intimate partner violence Rape, sexual assault/abuse Sexual harassment at work, school and in public Femicide - including in the name of honour Trafficking and sexual exploitation Harmful traditional practices - FGM, child and forced marriage Less documented forms - acid attacks, ritual abuse

7 Conducive Contexts Family and intimate relationships Residential institutions - including being in custody Communities (neighbours, friends) Workplace, college, school Sex industries Public space Conflict and transitions Migration

8 VAW and women’s equality The crucial thing is the structure of society – the fact that a woman cannot drive or travel without authorisation, for example – gives a special sense of strength to the man, and this strength is directly connected to the violence. It creates a sense of immunity, that he can do whatever he wants, without sanction. Rania al Baz, 2005

9 Mainstreaming in UN Resolutions –Honour crimes Work of special rapporteurs –SR on Violence Against Women its Causes and Consequences –SR on Trafficking –SR on Harmful Cultural Practices –SR on the Difficulties of Establishing Guilt to Crimes of Sexual Violence International Criminal Court Work in UNIFEM, UNDP, UNHCR, UNFPA, UNICEF,

10 Regional examples ECHR –Have been legal cases on state failure to protect COE –Plan of Action –Police and Human Rights Programme –Proposed Convention –Campaign Stock take study Standards for services

11 Some observations 1 VAW has not – until recently – considered a necessary element in international or national gender equality measurements or schemes Reporting on to CEDAW committee often limited Extensive academic knowledge base, but often disconnected from HR and/or women’s studies Offers a point of entry into debates on agency/empowerment; health; law and crime (crimes of dominion); human security; intersectionality; capabilities Nordic countries always highest on Equality indices, yet have as high – some would argue higher – levels of VAW as lower ranked countries –Relative independence and/or VAW as resistance to equality

12 Some observations 2 Limits women’s exercise of fundamental freedoms Recreates/reinforces other strands of gender equality Continues throughout the life course Impunity – male entitlement

13 Connections: consequences and women’s lives Is a barrier to women’s equality at practical and symbolic levels –Limits space for action –Costs in lost opportunities Symbolic meanings –‘to be a victim’ barriers to disclosure, under-reporting –worth less than men and other women – negative social capital Injury, damage to sense of self, safety and connections to others –betrayals of trust, breaking social connections Survival and coping strategies –‘safety work’ – for all women, factoring in personal safety –‘violence work’ – investment to undo harm –Trajectories into drug misuse, criminality, mental health problems including suicide

14 Connections: policy level, MDGs As barrier to achievement of MDGs –Cause and consequence of inequality –Used by individuals to resist moves to equality –Ensures women as a group are diminished, worth less Nexus of poverty and VAW –World Bank study - women cite poverty as reason for violence, and violence as background to poverty –VAW implicated in creating, maintaining and deepening women’s poverty –Women settle for less if it means they are safe –Controlling for class (poverty) VAW has serious health consequences - depression, suicide, child mortality (World Bank)

15 Research Special issue of VAW, IPV and Poverty – 9:10, 2003 Longitudinal study –Abuse decreases ability and capacity to work full-time –Lower income, lower quality housing, poor health increases vulnerability to further violence child poverty Other selected findings –Twice as many women on welfare had experienced IPV –Current employment decreased IPV –Women experiencing IPV worked less in the year and were more likely to loose a job –PTSD – three times higher for women with histories of csa and/or IPV –Longer IPV increased health consequences, with spin offs into employment Low income, hardship, no car, no health insurance Vicious circles – never making ends meet

16 The Next Steps Proposal by SRVAW in 2003 to develop two sets of indicators –Measuring violence and state responses Commission on HR’s resolution on VAW in 2004 (2004/46), para 25, need to develop, with international consensus on ways to measure VAW and state responses to it –Link to human rights and international obligations –Reflect wider VAW agenda –Not overburden states –Draw on current knowledge base and best/promising practices Technical report ‘The Next Steps’ completed in 2007, SRVAW report on indicators submitted to HR Council in March 2008 –19 sets of indicators, but many did not fulfil SMART requirements

17 Which Indicators?  Measuring VAW  Need to set baseline and track trends over time, whilst not expecting reduction over the short term  Mainly DV, with some sexual assault, especially in Africa  Issues and questions  DV not necessarily the most common form, but the most measured  All/any incidents/pattern of coercive control?  Cannot do specialist surveys regularly, but modules limit what can ask  Harmonisation issues – language, cultures, resources  Assessing state progress  Are many in international obligations, and less contested  Global HR indicators  Structure/process/outcome

18 Measuring violence: prevalence  Comparable surveys, comparable modules, comparable questions or comparable data?  Re-focus discussion to find new basis for common ground  International agreement on ‘grave VAW’ as single composite indicator: Over life time and last 12 months measurements  Only VAW which is a HR violation  Route out of longstanding, and ongoing political, legal and technical debates  Requires more in depth research to calculate  Collect comparable data, same analytic measure  Initial contours, needs more detailed technical elaboration  Any incident of rape/serious sexual assault/sexual coercion in child or adulthood, FGM, child/forced marriage, trafficking and sexual exploitation.  IPV, stalking, sexual harassment inclusion would be on the basis of seriousness and/or frequency, building on the analytic definitions developed in the Irish and Finnish studies  Pilot across various VAW prevalence studies, resource poor and resource rich countries  Layered compliance.  Layer 1: IPV, rape and sexual assault and FGM  Layers 2 and 3: harmful marriage practices; sexual harassment and stalking; trafficking and sexual exploitation; sexual abuse of girls.

19 Measuring violence: Femicide index Is most serious form, but not recorded through prevalence Homicide data amongst the more accurate of crime data –Intimate partner violence Men killing women Women killing abusive men –Sexual murder –‘Honour’ killings –Women in prostitution –Local issues – Cuidad Juarez –Could adapt to include other issues – dowry, female infanticide where locally relevant

20 Proposed outcome indicators  The outcome indicators  Proportion of female population who experienced grave VAW in last 12 months (based on a population survey)  Proportion of female population who experienced grave VAW ever (based on a population survey)  The trend in female deaths due to femicide (using a national femicide index)  Evidence of decreasing tolerance of VAW (as measured by national surveys and analysed across key demographics)

21 Assessing State Responses  International law: required to prevent, protect, prosecute and provide compensation  Structural indicators drawn out of proposals already in international law and policy  Process more complex – project in process

22 Examples of structural indicators  Ratification of CEDAW  Ratification of CEDAW without reservations  Ratification of the Optional Protocol  Ratification of CEDAW with few reservations  Ratification of CEDAW with significant reservations contrary to the object & purpose of CEDAW [i.e. reservations to Articles 2 & 16])  Still to be ratified  Action Plan on VAW:  AP has sufficient resources to deliver implementation  AP covers all forms of VAW within an explicit gender analysis  AP covers some forms of VAW within an explicit gender analysis  AP is monitored by an independent external oversight body with specific VAW mandate (National Observatory, National Human Rights Institution with VAW mandate)  AP has clear time frames and targets

23 Process indicators  The basic process indicator will be case attrition – the proportion of reported cases that fail to result in any form of sanction for the perpetrator. This requires tracking of reporting, prosecution and conviction rates on a year-by-year basis.  Increasing reporting rates can be seen to indicate decreased tolerance and increased exercise of the right to redress by women.  Prosecution rates should not only mirror increases in reporting, but also increase if legal and procedural reforms are having the desired impacts.  Conviction rates should, similarly, stay at minimum constant and increase if procedural reforms are effective. They should not be lower than for other crimes, especially since in many cases the identity of the perpetrator is known.  At national level an index of support needs to be constructed with access calculated through capacity, population ratios and 12 month prevalence findings. The precise contours of the index will be contained in a technical report to be agreed by nation states.

24 Attrition in rape cases: England and Wales

25 Attrition in rape cases: Germany

26 Attrition in rape cases: Hungary

27 An index of the extent and availablity of services using GIS systems

28 Disproportionality in provision, inequitable access

29 Violence has not been mainstreamed in equalities thinking or mechanisms –Limited work by the Equal Opportunities Commission Silo thinking –An emphasis on IPV and criminal justice Reported cases and risk –Policy conflicts and tensions – trafficking and forced marriage, between Justice and Immigration Limited application and understanding of relevance of human rights Recent recognition by new Equalities and Human Rights Commission –Interest in developing intersectional approaches –Equality duties – public bodies have responsibilities to promote equality with respect to race, disability and gender (GED) –Using research and lobbying through coalition – EVAW – have a commitment that VAW will be a key equality measure, included in ‘The State of the Nation’ bi-annual reports and in monitoring implementation of GED at local levels Current context in England and Wales

30 Process Indicators 1 Increased reporting rates (measured by administrative data from the criminal justice system)  Increased reporting across all forms of VAW  Increased reporting across most forms of VAW  Increased reporting of some forms of VAW  Flat rates reporting for some forms  Flat rates of reporting for most forms of VAW  Decreased attrition rates for prosecution and conviction (measured by administrative data from the criminal justice system)  Increased rates of prosecution and conviction for all forms of VAW  Increased rates of prosecution and conviction for some forms of VAW  Flat rates of prosecution and conviction for all forms of VAW  Flat rates of prosecution and conviction for some forms of VAW  Decreasing rates of prosecution and conviction for some forms of VAW


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