Promises to keep: realising global commitments on violence against women in times of rising inequality and shrinking civil society space
Hosted with Guardian Global Development
To mark the final day of 16 Days of Activism to End Violence Against Women and International Human Rights Day (10 Dec), ActionAid and Guardian Global Development hosted an event to urgently discuss what needs to be done to realise global commitments to eliminate violence against women and girls. This includes the VAWG target in the new Sustainable Development Goals.
As part of our Fearless campaign, a panel of experts explored why are we still failing women and girls, and how we can ensure that women’s rights organisations have the opportunities and support they need to challenge violence, push for policy change, and provide vital services to women escaping abuse.
You can now listen to our guest speakers below.
Listen to our guest speakers
As event chair, Marai introduces and highlights the importance of opportunities created from the Sustainable Development Goals on eliminating violence against women and girls.
Lucia introduces ActionAid UK’s latest research and recommendations on eliminating violence against women and girls.
Rashida is the former UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women and talks about the importance of state response on eliminating violence against women.
Emily talks about whether the current financing architecture is fit to deliver our commitments to eliminate violence against women.
Gerard updates us on the UK Government’s Department for International Development (DfID) progress on eliminating violence against women and where we need to head in the future.
As event discussant, Nicky summaries key points from each panelist and reflects on the importance of ensuring no one is excluded from policies and programmes tackling violence against women and girls.
One in three women face violence in their lifetime
This includes women like Wangu, pictured, who was brutally raped in Nairobi, Kenya in 2002.
“People don’t see sexual violence as a crime. They don’t understand that it takes your dignity away, as an individual.”
Wangu Kanju, women’s rights activist and founder of the Wangu Kanja Foundation, Kenya
Since then Wangu has overcome what happened to her and become a brave activist campaigning for the rights of fellow Kenyan women to be free from violence. This includes establishing the Wangu Kaja Foundation, which provides critical support to survivors, including counselling and business training that helps women turn trauma and anger into positive, empowering skills.
This is despite numerous global and regional commitments, most recently, the hard-fought for target on eliminating violence against women and girls in the Sustainable Development Goals.
The panel event also reflected upon the challenges to ending violence against women and girls brought by rising levels of inequality globally, and the implications for women’s collective action caused by shrinking civil society space, as highlighted in ActionAid’s recent Fearless campaign report and follow-up briefing ‘Promises to keep’.