CSW62 Ministerial Level Roundtable #2 Part 2 by GWI President Geeta Desai

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    Commission on the Status of Women 2018
    Ministerial Level Roundtable #2 part 2
    By Geeta Desai,
    Graduate Women International President

    Topic: Good practices in the empowerment of rural women and girls through prevention of
    GBV and access to justice, social services and healthcare.

    Sri Lanka: RS 763 million has been allocated to rural women. The government has formed collaborations with the private sector and banks to help rural women. Every police station has Women and Child bureaus to protect GBV victims and trafficking victims.

    Brazil: Government takes integrated action for women and girls with consideration of the diversity in this population. The Brazil Women’s Program combines the work of all sectors. Feminist law supports women’s caucuses in Congress. A hotline informs women of appropriate social services. In 2016, the hotline grew by 137% in terms with calls from rural areas. Mobile medical units are deployed in rural areas.

    Palestine: Occupation has derailed pro-women strategies which has led to the deterioration of the status of women and girls from particularly rural populations. Government tries to measure women’s participation in workforce in rural areas which is a good indicator of women’s economic progress and a basis for investment strategies. National observatory established to monitor violence against women in order to change laws and policies.

    Germany: Access to relief from violence is more difficult for rural women. The government is now examining gaps in support even in Germany’s very good social services system. Legislation has been improved and the Istanbul Convention has been ratified. A national help line had 150,000 contacts. Building a database is challenging as numbers of GBV incidents go unreported. Germany has set up a women’s center in Pakistan and is providing international help to many countries. More awareness is needed and men and boys need to be included more.

    Uganda: Extensive legislation in place against violence. Law enforcement trainings and shelters across the country are established. Observes 16 days of activism every year. Police stations have family desk managed by women officers. Strong partnership with civil society is in place. The Women’s Empowerment Fund supports women who have undergone FGM and pays for girls to remain at boarding schools during holidays and during the circumcision season.

    Argentina: Argentina has developed its first national institute to frame gender policies referencing CEDAW. Coordinates a rural women’s roundtable on Agriculture, Human Rights, Health. Intervention strategies take a multi-agency approach and an intercultural system for rural and indigenous women. Awareness of rights and services is raised through a partnership of state and Union of Rural Workers.

    Zambia: Multisectoral programs for rural women. Tractors and tillers donated to women and partnerships with traditional leaders to provide land to women’s cooperatives. Social Cash Transfers are provided to rural women and victims of GBV to reduce exclusion and food security is also supported with food packs. Mobile banking helps access to finance and village banking (microcredit) helps transfer small amounts of money. User-friendly courts fast-track GBV cases to be resolved in 30 days. Also available is one stop centers for GBV care and for victims of trafficking.

    Mexico: Emphasis on political participation of rural women, but these women are highly vulnerable to political violence. Elections are complex and challenge parity of women. Law in place for gender parity in elections process because rural women produce 50% of the country’s food but are not allowed to stand for elections and have no part in political, social and economic decision-making.

    Slovenia: New equality body for victims of discrimination for all women including rural women. Numbers of shelters have been increased and funding is provided to NGOs particularly those working with the Roma population to prevent early marriage and for reproductive education. Mobile screening units help with early detection of HIV, cancer, cervical and breast cancer. Agricultural advisory bodies and public services exist in all rural areas.

    Spain: Taking comprehensive measures in gender equality, GBV reduction and sustainable development of rural women. Hotline, primary care centers and partnership with pharmaceutical companies for medications round out medical treatment services. A webpage on GBV and a geo -locator to identify closest services and the UN Women’s safe cities programs are also in the mix.

    Jordan: Lessons learnt include understanding that commitment has to be at the highest level of government. Influx of refugees have overwhelmed services. Services and work is done within the family protection framework in which twenty partners provide services. Social taboos and cultural contexts are important considerations with such a diverse population. National insurance helps and access to justice is supported by strengthening NGOs and government institutions. Important for Jordan to move from purely Humanitarian to Developmental.

    Malta: A small country with little difference between urban and rural. Investments are made in women ‘s freedom to enter labor market to move women to financial independence. Free childcare provided. Launched national strategy to fight GBV from police to social services and healthcare by mainstreaming international conventions into country law. Laws based on Istanbul Convention. Commission on Human Rights and Equality based on Paris Principles under
    the aegis of house speaker making human rights the responsibility of the government.

    To be continued……

    Sincerely,

    Geeta

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