High Level Side Event of the Group of Friends For The Elimination of Violence Against Women: March 15, 11:30-13:00
EU Ambassador to the UN, Chair of Group of Friends
Violence against women
SDG3 – Good Health and Well-Being, SDG16 – Peace and Justice Strong Institutions
Bullying (2016), Child Marriage (2016)
Several local and national clubs are concerned about violence against women, and particularly in the light of COVID this has become an international issue
Recent reports have shown that all forms of gender-based violence, especially domestic violence have intensified since the outbreak of COVID. Yet resources and efforts have been diverted from gender-based violence response to COVID-19 relief, so urgent at the time. This has meant that in reality many critical and often life-saving services have become more of a challenge. On April 5 the UN Secretary-General appealed to the world to end violence, including inside the home, during the pandemic. One hundred forty-six nations have committed to make the prevention and review of violence against women and girls a key part of their COIVD-19 response. The Group of Friends was formed to promote this concept. So far 46 members have come forward out of 192. They will share lessons to eliminate all forms of gender-based violence, support advocacy issues and try to attract additional funding. In his brief comments The Secretary General welcomed the work that was being done but invited more members to join. Many women and girls live in fear and in silence, and during COVID, in a place where they should but do not feel safe. e must keep up the momentum but encourage others to join. We must transmit our ideas to actions. The EU will work broadly with governments, civil society and the private sector. It was fascinating to hear of work being done in Estonia, India, and many parts of Africa including Niger, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe.Some areas have mobile units or locations that offer one stop shopping so women might get the various kinds of help they need – medical, police, judicial, food. Root causes and prejudices must also be uncovered. A support network is needed for victims and survivors. Looking to the future the session closed with words by a remarkable youth leader from Guatemala.
COVD has exacerbated a problem that has existed forever. Now 1 in 3 women will experience such. Indeed violence against women is a growing issue and indeed a global issue that needs a global response. Our local club works with violence against women in Afghanistan but other clubs across the country work on the issue in broader ways. GWI has the ideal network to link the subject internationally and already NFAs are working in the issue jointly.

I have not worked on this topic myself but there is great need for action. Collaborations already exist between groups working on the topic and between levels of care the are helping the women. One of the panelists was the President of Estonia and she shared some remarkable stories from her country that could be inspiring for all who hear.

Author: Hally Siddons

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