Week Without Violence Resources and Tools
“I dream of giving birth to a child who will ask: “Mother, what was war?” Eve Merriam
Women play a vital role in both conflict and peace. Whether as refugees, soldiers or survivors of sexual violence, women experience war differently from men and are vulnerable in ways that men are not. In the midst of the chaos and destruction of war, women assume responsibility for protecting and providing for their children and communities. Yet, when it comes to negotiating peace and doing the practical work of rebuilding societies after war, women are largely ignored.
Violence Against Women is one of the greatest threats to human security worldwide. Research shows that one out of every three women is a victim of violence. The world YWCA promotes the participation of women in conflict prevention, resolution and peace processes in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. This year the theme for the YWCA Week Without Violence is: “Women in Peace Building”.
YWCA’s across the globe are encouraged to provide civic education programmes for women and girls involvement in peace building and reconciliation, as well as the promotion of women’s equitable participation in democracy and monitoring of electoral processes. Peace building is an extremely broad concept which encompasses democratisation, women’s equality, human rights and development. It is a bridge between conflict resolution and sustainable peace. It equates with the construction of a new social environment that pushes forward a sense of confidence and improves conditions of life. Peace building is also facilitated through empowering a marginalised population exposed to extreme vulnerability so as as to allow them to achieve self-sufficiency and well-being.
The fight for peace, justice, and human dignity can be won by working towards adequate healthcare, education, shelter and food for all people, everywhere. By eliminating poverty and ensuring a just distribution of the world’s resources, a significant portion of the triggers which lead to conflict would be removed. By promoting respect for the human rights and dignity of all people, the difference in skin colour, nationality, or religion would lose their power to ignite hatred.
As you carry out your activities for the Week Without Violence, here are some useful resources and tools:
Empowering Young Women to Lead Change
The elimination of all forms of violence against women is a World YWCA priority. YWCAs in 60 countries offer a range of programmes from advocacy to providing emergency shelters for women and their children.
All human development and human rights issues have gender dimensions. UN Women focuses on priority areas that are essential to women’s equality, and that can unlock progress across the board. The fundamental violation of women’s rights remains widespread, affecting all countries. Women need strong laws, backed by implementation and services for protection and prevention.
In Newsweek Magazine: Where women are winning
Just over a decade into the 21st century, women's progress can be seen-and celebrated-across a range of fields. They hold the highest political offices from Thailand to Brazil, Costa Rica to Australia. A woman holds the top spot at the International Monetary Fund; another won the Nobel Prize in economics. Self-made billionaires in Beijing, tech innovators in Silicon Valley, pioneering justices in Ghana-in these and countless others, women are leaving their mark.
Make room for Peace
Make Room for Peace gives practical guidance to third parties, such as donors, diplomatic delegations, mediators and other intermediaries aiming at supporting sustainable peace processes. The recommendations apply to both national and international stakeholders in peace processes. The manual may also be used as a tool for women’s organisations advocating women’s participation in peace processes.
VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN EPIDEMIC DOCUMENTATION PROJECT
CASE EXAMPLES, SUCCESSES & CHALLENGES - 10 COUNTRIES
Karin Alfredsson is spearheading a nongovernmental project to document violence against women around the world, and to highlight the shortcomings and successes of legislation and other initiatives aimed at helping to curb it.
Mechanisms for advancing women’s human rights: A guide to using CEDAW optional protocol and other international complaint mechanisms
In 1979, the UN General Assembly adopted CEDAW to address ongoing discrimination against women. CEDAW aims to eliminate all forms of discrimination against women, with a view to achieving substantive equality.
A practical guide is now available for lawyers, advocates and women experiencing violations of their rights on how to use the Optional Protocol to CEDAW, and other international complaint mechanisms to seek redress for alleged violations of women’s human rights.
VAWG: Your Questions, Our Answers