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statement against violence against women and girls

ICJW has signed on to this statement of Soroptimist International for CSW60. This Oral Statement Addresses the Underlying Structural Causes and Risk Factors of Violence against Women and Girls and engages with the Secondary CSW Review Theme: The Elimination and Prevention of all Forms of Violence against Women and Girls.

The outcomes of CSW57 were progressive and should be supported by all. As we all look ahead more needs to be done to ensure the elimination of violence against all women and girls – a fundamental human rights violation on a pandemic scale. 

We cannot legislate only as a moral condemnation of gender-based violence; laws must be effective in protecting women of all ages and prosecuting those who commit violence. This will improve accountability, address structural inequalities experienced by women and girls, and ensure that legislation supports the needs of victims and survivors. The needs of women and girls must be integrated across all the Sustainable Development Goals.

Good legislation can underpin policy actions that create the social change which will eliminate violence against women and girls. We call for the following actions to be taken:

 For states to ratify CEDAW without reservations, support the Istanbul Convention and review national legislation to ensure it meets with internationally recognised and agreed standards.

 For law enforcement agencies to be held accountable for not upholding legislation; the police, lawyers, judges and other legal professionals should be trained in gender-sensitive approaches.

 For specific and targeted resources to be dedicated to promote equal access to justice – social or marital status, age, ethnicity and other factors must not be a basis of discrimination nor limit access to the justice women need and deserve.

 For awareness raising and education programmes to be introduced to ensure that all women and girls are empowered and know about the laws that are there to protect them – too often women and girls do not seek assistance due to a lack of information.

 Men and boys must also be educated about violence against women and girls; only after all people have committed to achieve equality and eradicate violence will sustainable and meaningful results be achieved.

 For NGOs and to be involved in supporting national and international efforts to eliminate gender violence.

 For more robust data to be collected and disaggregated on the basis of age, relationship status, sexuality, ethnicity, race, disability and other factors to inform policy measures and actions, and so that we can have a better understanding of gender violence.

Repeatedly the experiences of women are not believed when they are reported. This is a symptom of the structural causes of gender violence. Permeating all levels of society, the under-representation of women’s voices perpetuates the widespread incidence of gender-based violence and prevents the empowerment of women in all areas of life. 

Women and girls must be empowered and enabled to be key decision makers in order to eradicate gender violence in all spheres of society – to eliminate gender violence, comprehensive policy measures must be taken that put the voices of women and girls at their centre.