Violence against women and girls is a global issue that is all too often ignored, effective advocacy and campaigns can play an integral part in bringing it to an end. The latest in a series of webinars by Oxfam’s Regional Gender Justice Programme in the Middle East and North Africa discusses best practice with regards to raising awareness and making lasting change.
Amina1 looks at her sister sitting beside her with a painful smile and says “Do you remember how many times I came to your house bleeding?” – Then continues – “A couple of days into my marriage, my husband started beating me, sometimes because he did not like the food, and other times because he just felt like it. His family did not help at all, in fact they took part in my abuse, they attacked me once when I was pregnant, his mother and sister started punching my belly; it was horrible. I had no support whatsoever, I defied everything; my parents,
society, our culture and beliefs, and decided to get a divorce after many years of suffering”.2
It is a crime that happens to one in every three women in the world, no matter what form it takes it is an utter violation of human rights. It is the global pandemic of violence against women and girls.
120 million girls around the world are victims of rape and forced sexual acts. Additionally, violence by an intimate partner is the most common
120 million girls around the world are victims of rape and forced sexual acts. Additionally, violence by an intimate partner is the most common form of violence faced by women and girls.3
Despite the declarations and conventions created to prevent human rights violations and further protect women and girls, such as: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights; The Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women; and, the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), women all over the world still suffer from all kinds of abuses while the
perpetrators go unpunished.
Human rights organizations and activists especially those advancing women’s rights, work very hard to try to put an end to these abuses on many levels, some of the work is done to change attitudes and behaviours with regards to the acceptance of the culture of violence against women, while others seek changes on the legislative levels by changing policies and laws.
As part of our inspiring series, and continuing quest for gender justice, the next webinar will take on the issue of Violence against Women and Girls, with an emphasis on ‘Public influencing to end violence against women and girls: Best practices and ways forward’.
We look forward to an interesting discussion with three experts with different experiences and backgrounds who will share with us the main learning of their influencing work and practical examples:
Dr. Lina Abirafeh – Director Institute for Women’s Studies in the Arab World (IWSAW)
Mona Mehta – Gender Equity Manager at Oxfam GB, Asia We Can Campaign.
Maya Ammar – Communications Coordinator KAFA (enough) Violence & Exploitation
Watch the webinar
This webinar took place on Thursday May 5, 2016 from 12:30 GMT to 14:00. It is now available to watch online. See Webinar 3: Influencing to end violence against women and girls. An audio only version of the webinar is also available in Arabic.
- See Lina Abirafeh’s TEDx talk: Women’s safety in a violent world
- Also see her book ‘Gender and International Aid in Afghanistan: The Politics and Effects of Intervention‘
- Find out more about an MA in Interdisciplinary Gender Studies at LAU
- Find out more about our work on ending violence against women
- Read more blogs on VAW
- Download the Women, Peace and Security factsheet and watch the first webinar.
 Amina is a beneficiary who has received legal support from The Lebanese Council to Resist Violence Against Woman (LECORVAW). LECORVAW is one of the organisations supported by the Oxfam Women’s Access to Justice Programme.
Author: Sariah Ghazzaoui
Archive blog. Originally posted on Oxfam Policy & Practice.