UN Advocacy Focus

In early 2020, the International Presentation Association identified the Elimination of Violence against Women and Children as its UN specific Advocacy Focus. The focus emerged from the IPA Priority Action Women and Children, intersecting with IPA’s Priority Actions to honour and advance the rights of Indigenous and Tribal People and the rights of the Earth as well as linking the UN Advocacy Focus with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

 

As part of our commitment to work toward collaboration and partnership building, we are in conversation with the Red Dot Foundation Global (RDFG). Red Dot’s flagship programme is Safecity, a platform that collates personal stories of harassment and abuse in public and private spaces. This programme corresponds well with our IPA UN Advocacy Focus, Elimination of Violence against Women and Children.

Elimination of Violence against Women and Children

We pledge to advocate at the UN for the elimination of violence against women and children.

Violence against women and children is a serious human rights violation that occurs at alarming rates worldwide. Available data indicate that women’s and children’s experience of violence is widespread and takes different forms. The COVID-19 pandemic and the confined living conditions of lockdown, with severe health, economic and social impacts, have amplified existing inequalities and have worsened the existing crisis of violence against women and children worldwide. The empowerment of women and children is essential in eliminating gender-based violence. Members of the International Presentation Association (IPA) are leaders in their missions and professions, working in partnerships with women, children and their communities to educate and empower them with skills in all aspects.

  • In 2019, 243 million women and girls aged 15-49 have been subjected to sexual and/or physical violence by an intimate partner.
  • Globally, an estimated 736 million women, almost one in three, have been subjected to intimate partner violence, non-partner sexual violence, or both at least once in their life (30% of women aged 15 and older).
  • Approximately 1 billion children (half the world’s children) each year are affected by physical, sexual or psychological violence, suffering injuries, disabilities and death.
  • About half the world’s children are subjected to physical punishment at home; roughly 3 in 4 children or 300 million children between the ages of 2 and 4 years receive violent discipline by parents and other primary caregivers; half of students aged 13 to 15 experience peer violence in and around school; and 1 in 3 adolescent girls aged 15 to 19 have been victims of intimate partner violence.
  • An estimated 750 million women and girls alive today were married before their 18th birthday.
  • Globally between 38%-50% of murders of women are committed by intimate partners.
  • The majority (55-95%) of women survivors of violence do not disclose or seek any type of services.

One of the most important ways to address violence against women and children is by providing the survivors who have experienced violence with immediate access to quality services. Such response services must be based upon survivors’ needs and safety. Certain examples of quality and support services include:

  • Health and medical services that address the immediate physical and psychological injuries resulting from violence.
  • Safe houses and shelters for women and children who are escaping violence.
  • Online and offline trauma counselling and psychosocial support for women and children who have experienced violence.
  • Channels to assist survivors, in areas such as health, social welfare, police reporting and justice.
  • Legal aid and legal literacy training for women.
  • Capacity-building of ‘first responders’ (police, social and health care workers) to address effectively cases of violence against women and children.
  • Behavioural change programmes for men for boys.

There are many ways of describing and conducting advocacy. Advocacy represents a set of strategic actions that will influence the decisions, practices and policies of others. In order to eliminate violence against women and children in the long term, it is essential to advocate for policy development and legislative change.

 

What do we mean by advocacy in the context of the IPA’s UN priority action for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Children? One simple, overarching definition could be that advocacy is the deliberate process, based on demonstrated evidence, to directly and indirectly influence decision makers, stakeholders and relevant audiences to support and implement actions that eliminate violence against women and children, and achieve gender equality.

Preventing violence against women and children from occurring before it even starts is the most difficult way to stop gender-based violence, yet the most effective one towards eliminating violence against women and children completely. Transforming gender stereotypes and social norms, addressing the structural causes associated with violence in any society is not only the right thing to do, it is also the smart thing to do for a long-term development and stability.

 

Violence against women and children remains pervasive across the world, despite the significant efforts that have been made to respond to gender-based violence and advocate for its elimination in all its forms. A total elimination though can only be achieved through prevention. Successful prevention requires:

  • political commitment and leadership
  • implementing laws and policies that promote gender equality
  • investing in women’s organisations
  • allocating resources to prevention, and
  • addressing the multiple forms of discrimination women face daily.

 

Considering and assessing the context (current laws, policies and practices addressing gender-based violence) in which prevention strategies are to be implemented is an essential aspect of the planning process. Preventing violence against women and children before it occurs is fundamental to ensuring that women and children are truly able to live a life free from violence.

Making Uncomfortable Conversations Comfortable

The International Presentation Association launched this research on gender stereotypes and domestic violence in India, the United States and Zimbabwe in May 2022.

 

“While many advances for women have been achieved, progress in transforming gender stereotypes and strengthening women’s rights has not gone far or fast enough. We need to do more, collectively and worldwide, to prioritize dismantling gender norms and addressing violence against women in order to meet the promise of gender equality.” ~ Ann Marie Quinn PBVM and Dr Despoina Afroditi Milaki, April 2022

Click the image to download the report

Advocacy Toolkit for the Elimination of Violence against Women & Children

The International Presentation Association developed this Advocacy Toolkit which provides information and tools. It is a helpful resource to be used in your work on the elimination of violence against women and children.

 

This work includes primary responding to violence, advocating for eradicating violence, and preventing violence before it even occurs. The information and activities recommended can be used on their own or together as a step-by-step guide to any project design.

Click the image to download the toolkit

Video resources on gender and the elimination of violence

Launch of ‘Making the Uncomfortable Conversation Comfortable: Gender Stereotypes and Domestic Violence in India, United States and Zimbabwe’

Recorded 25 May 2022

Panelists included: Ann Marie Quinn PBVM, IPA; Ella Rayment, IPA; Anshu, Domestic Violence Survivor, India; Elsa Marie D’Silva, Red Dot Foundation, India;  Annatollia Muzata, IPA, Zimbabwe; Merredith, Domestic Violence Survivor, United States (video); Sujata Warrier, Battered Women’s Justice Project; Tinotenda Ratidzo Chihera, Domestic Violence Advocate; Joy Peterson PBVM, IPA; Dr. Despoina Afroditi Milaki, NGO Representative at the UN, IPA

Building Stronger Together…towards Elimination of Violence Against Women and Children.

Recorded November 23, 2021

An IPA Webinar in commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (Nov 25).

This was an online gathering of sharing IPA experiences and stories, galvanizing efforts, inspiring action and building forward together to advance the elimination of violence against women and children. IPA Sisters and Presentation People from all around the world joined in this inspiring and informative online event.

Transforming Gender Stereotypes: Making the Uncomfortable Conversation Comfortable

Recorded live at CSW 65, 16 March 2021

Co-Sponsors: Republic of the Philippines, Permanent Mission of Portugal To the United Nation, Company of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, Greek Orthodox Archdiocesan Council, International Association of Charities, Maryknoll Sisters of St. Dominic, Inc., The red dot foundation, School Sisters of Notre Dame, Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd – Justice Peace, UNANIMA International.

Towards 2030: Grassroots Experiences with Inequalities

A recording of the launch of the report which took place on March 1, 2021

 

Empowered in Advocating for the Elimination of Violence Against Women & Children recorded November 24, 2020.

Visit our YouTube channel to view our collection of stories, personal reflections, webinar replays and much more.

IPA grassroots talk about digital technology - advocacy engagement for the UN CSocD

Students talk about the International Day of the Girl

Resources for honouring the rights of Women & Children

File Type Published Download
Women and Children case studies June 2022 PDF 06/11/2022 Download
Making Uncomfortable Conversations Comfortable PDF 06/01/2022 Download
Red Dot Foundation | Safe City Project PDF 02/11/2022 Download
Prayer Service for St Josephine Bakhita Patron Saint of Sudan and Trafficked People PDF 01/28/2022 Download
CSW 61 Oral Statement on Economic Empowerment of Girls and Women in Poverty PDF 01/28/2022 Download
Agreed conclusions 51st session Elimination of Violence against the Girl Child PDF 01/28/2022 Download
Toolkit: Elimination of Violence Against Women & Children | Respond - Advocate - Prevent PDF 05/01/2021 Download
Statement to CSW 64th Session March 2020 PDF 03/01/2020 Download
2016 Garden of Dreams | Human Trafficking PDF 01/01/2016 Download

The International Presentation Association is the global advocacy mission of the Presentation Sisters and Presentation People today. We are a network of over 1,500 religious sisters and Presentation People in over 20 countries.

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