Intersecting Pandemics and A Time for Action

 

This year will be defined by the COVID-19 pandemic. It will also be defined by the global, exponential growth of violence against women and girls who were forced to shelter with their abusers. It is a year where the influence of frontline leaders and activists made a huge impact. Heads of State are making moves to create change - like South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa who called for an African Union and continental-wide treaty to end the violence. Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari made an even bolder call: for a Global Treaty to End Violence Against Women and Girls.

This is a watershed moment.

For seven years, along with thousands of frontline advocates, survivors, and citizens, we have made this our central mission - and we are grateful for your support every step of the way. But we cannot rest. We must secure support from every African Union nation and from every corner of the globe.

The former President of Malawi, Joyce Banda now serves as our Special Envoy. Her Excellency is leading conversations with former and current African leaders including with Liberia’s former President, Nobel Peace Laureate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

This is a moment unlike any before. 2020 brought great challenges but it has also brought us this historic opportunity to create the change necessary to create a life free from violence. Together.

You were essential in getting us this far. Now, it’s all hands on deck! Here’s what you can do.

  1. Donate! Every woman supports thousands of activists with a razor-thin staff of eight. This next phase of our work together requires an exponential increase in capacity to facilitate advocacy to bring nations on board. Please consider giving your first gift, or doubling your previous pledge or donation.
  2. Are you a physician or an attorney? Please sign onto our Dear Colleague letters. Attorneys and Legal experts can sign here: https://forms.gle/e4HWkuuT4zPeeUmd7. Physicians and medical experts can sign here: https://forms.gle/pBQV9w91C8YRsyx57.
  3. Sponsor a national coalition. Coalitions are primed and ready to launch in several key nations, like India, Pakistan, Kenya, and Nigeria. Sponsoring a national coalition begins at $10,000.
  4. Activate your network to contact African government officials or senior-level government officials of any nation: reach out, share this email. If you have connections with senior officials or influential networks, we are happy to be introduced and welcome additional voices. Or recruit your community or organization to join our coalition. Contact Zainab@everywoman.org. And remember you can include our Safer Sooner Report to provide research, context, and urgency for the Global Call.

With warmest wishes for an exceptional 2021 and with profound gratitude, 

All of us at Every Woman Treaty


GUEST POST: How Afghan Youth Are Empowering Women’s Voices During the Government-Taliban Peace Talks

By Taylor Bloch

Global attention has turned to Afghanistan, as over 100 international political leaders and 400 Afghan women’s rights activists have called for the incorporation of women’s rights into the potential peace agreement between the Government and the Taliban. At the core of this movement lies a particular demographic: young people. According to the United Nations Population Fund, youth under the age of 25 make up over 63% of Afghanistan’s total population. Over the past two decades of violent conflict, youth have emerged as a prominent voice for social and political change within the country, including mobilizing for women’s rights.

Women’s Rights and Afghan Government-Taliban Peace Talks

Elevating women’s voices is crucial now more than ever, as the ongoing peace talks aim to end 41 years of war between the Afghan Government and the Taliban, a militarized, Sunni Islamic fundamentalist political organization notorious for its repressive perceptions of women’s rights. The future of women’s rights is a hot topic at these negotiations, and predictions of whether gender equality will progress or regress remain uncertain.

As Jamile Bigio, a senior fellow in the Women and Foreign Policy program at the Council on Foreign Relations, and Delphi Cleaveland, a Masters graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, recently highlighted in their CNN article, “Many Afghan women fear that in this mix of contentious priorities, their rights could be traded for a chance at ending the conflict.”

To promote gender equality in these peace talks, it is key that women’s voices are not only heard, but that they are also actively incorporated into a peace agreement and implemented thereafter. Unfortunately, such an outcome is difficult given that women represent only 4 of the 21 Afghan Government negotiators. With few women physically present at the negotiating table, Afghanis must emphasize strategic and targeted activism to elevate their demands for gender equality.

How Are Youth Reacting?

One young woman, Sveto Muhammad Ishoq, who has worked as a volunteer with Every Woman Treaty since 2016, has uplifted women’s voices in Afghanistan this year by jumpstarting Chadari, a story-telling initiative that amplifies the diverse voices of Afghan women to a global audience. To deconstruct the singular image of Afghan women often portrayed by media and film, Ms. Ishoq shares stories and poems and hosts online events and trainings for women to share their personal experiences—from dealing with COVID-19 to surviving terrorist attacks to personal and professional success stories. 

Rather than the stereotypical image of a singular veiled woman, Ms. Ishoq explains that Afghan women represent a world of “dualities.” She highlights the lives of educated and uneducated women, as well as experiences of heartwarming success and tragic realities. While these stories are not for the limited purpose of impacting the peace talks, Ms. Ishoq empowers women’s voices at a time when they often are silenced yet are urgently in need of being heard.

Ms. Ishoq emphasizes that she is not alone in her work to empower Afghan women’s voices. “Youth open the doors for other people and inspire. They are the changemakers,” states Ms. Ishoq. She notes that recent terrorist attacks, such as the tragic events at Kabul University in early November, have targeted Afghanistan’s young people, alluding to how political and social opponents aim to quell their appeals for human rights. As mentioned in a recent article published by Al Jazeera, Sami Mahdi, a professor at Kabul University, recalls that his students were “getting an education to better Afghanistan or fight for women’s rights, while others just wanted a secure life in a country racked by 20 years of bloody conflict.”

Due to the risk of physical harm they face by speaking out, young people increasingly turn to social media to voice their political aspirations for equality, criticism of the Taliban, and demands from the government in the ongoing peace talks, according to one Foreign Policy article. Recently, young Afghan activists sparked a Twitter social media campaign titled “Feminine Perspectives” to bring attention to what women demand from the peace negotiations. Beginning with women’s and girls’ education rights, the campaign highlights a different women’s rights issue each week and is succeeding in increasing the dialogue around gender equality. 

Looking Forward

Ms. Ishoq and the “Feminine Perspectives” campaign reflect only a small fraction of the political and social activism by Afghan youth gaining traction this year. Rather, they are accompanied by the built-up political dissatisfaction of millions of young people, many of whom are likely watching with keen eyes which direction their country takes regarding women’s rights. By sharing the stories of women in Afghanistan, their experiences hopefully will translate into a peace agreement that acknowledges the need for immediate initiatives to incorporate women into all sectors of Afghan society. However, the fate of gender equality now lies in the hands of the male-dominated negotiators.

While Ms. Ishoq notes that the future of women’s rights in Afghanistan remains a “question mark,” she also states, “I try to stay positive. I always want to portray a positive story [of Afghanistan].” The stakes are high for gender equality at this negotiation table, but Afghan youth are putting their best efforts forward to ensure women’s voices are heard.

About the Author

Taylor Bloch

Taylor Bloch interned with Every Woman Treaty during the Summer of 2020. Bloch is a third-year student in the Honors Program at the George Washington University in Washington, D.C. She studies International Affairs, Political Science, and Spanish. She is a gender activist and aspires to apply her skills to a future career working at the intersection of women’s and LGBTQ+ rights, foreign policy, and international development.


From Zainab Ali Khan: Pakistan in Focus

As women and girls across the globe have been forced to shelter with their abusers, reports of violence increased, and we are reminded that the frontlines exist in our own homes, communities, and nations.

In Pakistan, violence against women is again in the headlines: a lawyer and mother of six was abducted, raped, and tortured for four days by three unknown men after she attended court hearings. After a video of the survivor was circulated online, a social media movement calling for the end of rape culture in Pakistan trended.

The online treatment of female journalists increasingly worsened for Pakistani women. 36 female journalists signed a statement, accusing their online abusers for morphing their photographs and making sexual slurs and threats towards them. Online attacks have been speculated to be instigated by government officials due to the female journalists’ criticism of the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pakistani women are tired of the dangers they face in all areas of life. Whether it’s doing their jobs or being the voices for those less vulnerable, they deserve to live a life free of violence and abuse in all forms.

Our colleague Zainab Ali Khan reminds us that standing up to misogyny is a heroic act all by itself.

This week, she analyzes the mistreatment of women in Pakistan, but also why hope still remains.

“The rape, torture, and abduction of a woman doctor in the time of COVID-19, the honor killing of another that's conveniently been dubbed a suicide, and the harassment of women who speak their mind online - THIS from a nation whose founding father, Mohmmad Ali Jinnah, recognized that the power of the sword and the pen both pale in comparison to the power of women! However, even in these dark times, hope remains! Stories such as that of Tabassum Adnan remind us that the women of Pakistan have traded their bangles for fists. Kudos to Academy Award-winning Director, Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, for shining a spotlight on these stories! In violent times, showing a mirror that reflects the misogyny of your culture is a heroic act in itself!"

This year, your support will ensure that frontline activists can continue to be the champions for global systems change necessary to create a life free from violence.

MORE TO READJustice demanded for Female lawyer abducted and raped

Pakistani women journalists face online abuse

Zainab Ali Khan, Founding Working Group Member of Every Woman Treaty, is a Gender Specialist with over 10 years of work experience in the Development and Corporate sectors of Pakistan. Belonging to a conservative family, Ms Ali Khan had to fight for her right to a foreign education. She is the first woman in her family to be sent abroad for further education. Ms Ali Khan’s educational background includes a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Maine (USA) in English Literature with a minor in Women’s Studies. She also holds a Master’s degree from the University of Toronto (Canada) in Women and Gender Studies. Ms Ali Khan was awarded full scholarships for both degrees. During her time at the Women and Gender Institute of University of Toronto, Ms Ali Khan extensively researched honor crimes in Pakistan for her dissertation entitled, “Honor Crimes in Pakistan: A Critical Analysis of the Zina and Qisas & Diyat Ordinances.”


Ending the Culture of Violence, Yudit Zicklin-Sidikman

Every Woman Treaty would like to highlight Yudit Zicklin-Sidikman, Founder and President of ESD Global Inc., a global organization working to establish Empowerment Self Defense as the key violence strategy for women and vulnerable populations.

Yudit has been a longtime supporter of Every Woman and a dedicated advocate for fighting violence against women and children. Through her work, she has supported programs and projects that help women and girls learn how to recognize and respond as abuse develops, specifically, at the moment that they feel in danger. Her key focus is to strengthen prevention programs so that we can see a world with less trauma, less pain, and overall less violence around the world. Now, more than ever with the COVID-19 pandemic, we are seeing an uptick of domestic and child abuse cases and a lack of resources for vulnerable populations to protect themselves due to nationwide lockdowns and closures. Yudit is calling for supporters to help end this vicious cycle of violence against women and children.

Check out ESD Global’s call to Ending the Culture of Violence and their free course on empowerment self-defense.

READ MORE:

Child Abuse Cases Drop 51 Percent. The Authorities are Very Worried

A Pandemic Within a Pandemic — Intimate Partner Violence during COVID-19


Fartuun Adan and Ilwad Elman Named Aurora Prize Laureates

(Seattle, WA, USA) The Aurora Humanitarian Initiative named Fartuun Adan and Ilwad Elman of the Elman Peace Center in Somalia as the 2020 Aurora Prize Laureates. Adan is a Founding Board Member of Every Woman Treaty, and Elman currently serves on our Steering Committee. The following is a statement from Every Woman Treaty CEO Lisa Shannon, who cofounded the Sister Somalia program at Elman Peace – the first rape crisis center in Somalia.

“Gratitude in Action. The Aurora Humanitarian Initiative advances and recognizes this principle as central to humanitarian work, and as the world will now see: it is central to the world-changing work my sisters Fartuun Adan and Ilwad Elman continue to do in Somalia.

“In 2011, Fartuun welcomed me to Mogadishu. We met with sexual violence survivors, and I supported the launch of Sister Somalia - the Elman Peace Center's program for rape survivors. While post-conflict and conflict-related sexual violence disproportionately affects women and girls, Fartuun and Ilwad persevere, undaunted by statistics or the constant threats.

“For many women around the world, there is no easy path to justice. Laws, government systems, and social norms favor perpetrators. In courtrooms, media, communities, and homes across the world, female victims of violence are often blamed, ignored, and not believed, entrenching the world in a system of silence and impunity.

“I have had the great privilege of watching, up close, Ilwad's extraordinary life work unfold, as she shunned the comfortable life, trading it for courage beyond measure, stepping into being a fierce advocate for the world's most marginalized, combating violence at its roots, through Elman's extraordinary work ending violent extremism, and violence against women.

“Ilwad is the African leader of the future: Bold, compassionate, unrelenting in her work for every human being to realize human dignity and flourishing.

“I have also seen first-hand these women grapple with the deepest loss: That of daughter/ sister/ partner Almaas Elman last November. They carry on her spirit, and that of their father, through their tenacious commitment to human rights, safety, and dignity for all.

“Their family's work stretches back over nearly 30 years - work that transforms the lives of Somali youth and embraces nonviolence and peacebuilding. Thankful to see recognition of their leadership and their generosity with the Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity.”


Pakistan in Focus: From Zainab Ali Khan, Founding Working Group Member

Zainab Ali Khan, Founding Working Group Member of Every Woman Treaty, is a Gender Specialist with over 10 years of work experience in the Development and Corporate sectors of Pakistan. Belonging to a conservative family, Ms Ali Khan had to fight for her right to a foreign education. She is the first woman in her family to be sent abroad for further education. Ms Ali Khan’s educational background includes a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Maine (USA) in English Literature with a minor in Women’s Studies. She also holds a Master’s degree from the University of Toronto (Canada) in Women and Gender Studies. Ms Ali Khan was awarded full scholarships for both degrees. During her time at the Women and Gender Institute of University of Toronto, Ms Ali Khan extensively researched honor crimes in Pakistan for her dissertation entitled, “Honor Crimes in Pakistan: A Critical Analysis of the Zina and Qisas & Diyat Ordinances.”

Ali Khan’s work in the development sector of Pakistan includes working as a Documentation Specialist for a USAID funded Gender Equity Program worth USD 38 million – one of the biggest gender equity initiatives in the country. She has also worked for Women on Board, an initiative of the South Asian Federation of Exchanges that aims to address the acute imbalance of women professionals on corporate boards and higher management in Pakistan. She has also worked with AASA Consulting, a firm that specializes in social policy and human resource management.

She is the author of a number of publications including case studies, success stories, reports, and a magazine. As a women’s rights activist who feels very passionately about gender equality, Ms Ali Khan has had the opportunity to speak about women’s empowerment in Pakistan and internationally.

This week, she analyzes the mistreatment of women in Pakistan, but also why hope still remains.

“The rape, torture, and abduction of a woman doctor in the time of COVID-19, the honor killing of another that's conveniently been dubbed a suicide, and the harassment of women who speak their mind online - THIS from a nation whose founding father, Mohmmad Ali Jinnah, recognized that the power of the sword and the pen both pale in comparison to the power of women! However, even in these dark times, hope remains! Stories such as that of Tabassum Adnan remind us that the women of Pakistan have traded their bangles for fists. Kudos to Academy Award-winning Director, Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, for shining a spotlight on these stories! In violent times, showing a mirror that reflects the misogyny of your culture is a heroic act in itself!"

MUST READSJustice demanded for Female lawyer abducted and raped

Pakistani women journalists face online abuse


Dr. Anyouzoa: Inflection Point in Cameroon

Women’s rights are human rights. And human rights are women’s rights. The escalation of preventable violence in Cameroon underscores the need for a binding, global treaty that levels the law for victims and survivors. This week our Senior Policy Research Fellow, Dr. Jeanne Anyouzoa shares her analysis.  

“Violence against women is taking a gruesome turn in Cameroon, a country in Central Africa, where a civil war has been raging since 2017 as the result of a failed bid at culturally and politically assimilating an English-speaking minority in the Southwest part of the country. Graphic videos depict the murder of women at the hands of rebel groups. Violence allegedly perpetrated by government forces have been widely condemned by human right groups and foreign chancelleries.

“A close analysis of these incidents illustrates the increasingly barbaric crimes are an epiphenomenon of deeply ingrained cultural biases against women across ethnic, social, and political lines in a country where, interestingly, the leadership is genuinely promoting the welfare and wellbeing of women and girls.

“These recent events in Cameroon should be a wakeup call for all who are not yet convinced of the necessity of a binding treaty to protect women and girls everywhere. Every Woman Treaty’s clarion call for this binding treaty is more than a rallying cry.

"The souls of those sisters speak to us. The souls of those sisters speak to the world."

MUST READ: Cameroon CIvilians Protest Growing Separatist Barbarism, Increasing Violence (VOA)

Dr. Anyouzoa has grounded experience in the development of national public health programs, strategic plans, policies and guidelines in Cameroon, has secured donor and domestic resources, and provided technical support for their implementation, monitoring and evaluation.

Dr. Jeanne Anyouzoa is an Educational Commission For Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) board-certified medical doctor with over seven years of work experience in Sub-Saharan Africa. She has successfully provided leadership for health system strengthening and implementation of national communicable and non-communicable diseases, and emergency/trauma programs in Cameroon-West Africa. Dr. Anyouzoa was the abstract poster laureate of the American Academy of Paediatric/Primary Urgent Care (AAP/PUC) conference on Emergency Medicine in Florida in November 2018.

Passionate about addressing social disparities in health care through community outreach, health education, policy development, and advocacy, Dr. Anyouzoa has worked with the University of Washington and King County, Washington State, USA conducting health access and cost-effectiveness research.


Must Reads: Uyghurs Speak Out

Must ReadsZumrat Dawut, a Uyghur woman, speaks out about the Chinese government’s human rights abuses against her and fellow Uyghur women. Esther Salas, the federal judge who was targeted by a misogynistic, men’s rights attorney speaks out for the first time since the shooting against her family. Arwa Mahdawi on shifting the gendered narrative of leadership, and how being more like a woman can bring success. COVID-19’s devastating effects on women and girls’ access to healthcare. Allegations of rape and assault leads to a U.K. lawmaker’s arrest, and more.

  1. Zumrat Dawut, a Uyghur woman, speaks on how the Chinese government had forcibly sterilized her and fined her for having children. Since 2016, the Chinese government has used forced detention camps, sexual abuse, humiliation and sterilization to violate Uyghur women and people.Just like any genocide, women are always the number one target...There is a very, very serious crime happening at such a large scale,” says Rahima Mahmut. (CNN)
  2. Esther Salas, the federal judge who was targeted by a misogynistic, men’s rights attorney that killed her son and injured her husband, speaks out for the first time since the shooting in her home. The gunman recognized himself as an anti-feminist and “represented the most extreme element of the men’s rights movement whose online discussions in recent years have become increasingly menacing toward women.” (New York Times)
  3. Arwa Mahdawi, columnist at the Guardian, reflects on the findings of a recent World Economic Forum study, that shows women-led countries had an advantage during the COVID-19 pandemic.We have been taught that if we want to get ahead we should act like men. Perhaps it’s time we stop doing that and, instead, start telling men that they’ll be more successful if they act like women,” Mahdawi concludes. (The Guardian)
  4. COVID-19’s devastating effect on women and girls. Sophie Cousins reports on how the COVID-19 pandemic has had devastating effects on women and girls’ sexual and reproductive health, and access to overall healthcare. “Although numerous countries have now eased restrictions, the effects of travel restrictions, closure of health services, economic hardship, and gender-based violence are already evident.” (The Lancet)
  5. United Kingdom. A current Conservative lawmaker under the government has been arrested after accusations of rape were brought against him. “The former parliamentary employee who accused the lawmaker of rape and assault said that she was so traumatized that she had to go to the hospital.” The accusations come shortly after another ex-lawmaker was recently convicted of sexual offenses from 2017. (New York Times) MORE: (BBC)

MORE TO READ

Memphis. In partnership with The Institute for Public Service Reporting at the University of Memphis, the Daily Memphian investigates the thousands of sexual assault cases that have been neglected or tampered by the Memphis Police Department, and how survivors are fighting for their justice. (Daily Memphian)


Must Reads: #ChallengeAccepted

Must Reads: The Human Rights Council report on what needs to improve in the working world: improvement of women’s human rights. Indrani Goradia, one of Every Woman Treaty’s founding members has a conversation on leadership at Thrive Global. U.S. House Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez calls for accountability and systemic change for women and girls. The brutal murder of Pinar Gültekin has sparked widespread protests across Turkey and social media. Mexico’s spike in calls for help from survivors of domestic violence proves the necessity to acknowledge the shadow pandemic and more.

  1. Human Rights Council’s report of the Working Group on discrimination against women and girls analyzes global trends in the working world through a gendered lens, and how the world can set a vision for the working world to prioritize women’s human rights and change the current economic model. (UN Docs)
  2. Indrani Goradia, one of our founding board members and founder of RAFT, is featured on Thrive Global’s series about individuals and organizations making an important social impact. Indrani talks about how she started her organization, her inspirations, and more. "Leadership means to come to a challenge with a curious mind and ask questions until everyone understands what we are solving and how we will start the process.” (Thrive Global)
  3. Turkey. Women are protesting across the country after Pinar Gültekin, a 27-year old woman was brutally murdered by her former partner. The protests come after a lack of initiative by the government to uphold its commitment to the Istanbul Convention, and rates of femicide doubling since its ratification in 2011. “We are carrying banners for a woman we do not know. It is enough now. We want to live." #ChallengeAccepted (Al Jazeera)
  4. U.S. House Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez gave an evocative speech condemning the abuse of women and girls on the House floor after she was called a sexist vulgarity by Representative Ted Yoho in front of reporters. “You can take photos and project an image to the world of being a family man and accost women without remorse and with a sense of impunity. It happens every day in this country. It happened here on the steps of our nation’s Capitol.” (New York Times) MORE: Foreign Policy
  5. Mexico. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Mexico’s largest network of shelters for victims of violence has seen an 80 percent jump in the number of women and children who are seeking help. "COVID awoke situations of violence that were camouflaged, hidden," Figueroa told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. "During this lockdown, the violence gets stronger."  (Al Jazeera)

MORE TO READ

Egypt. Two women, Hansen Hossam and Masada Eladhm, were sentenced to two years in prison for “violating family values” by posting content on the famous social media platform, TikTok. Activists have called for the release of women who have been arrested on debauchery charges and for a change to the current laws that put women in jail for their social media activity. (Egyptian Streets)

Nigeria. Experts are calling for a restructured loan system to properly and better support women, who are already put at a disadvantage, by government policies, to be financially and socially stable. The COVID-19 pandemic has made women even more vulnerable to financial hardships and support. Dr. Eleanor Nwadinobi noted, “the majority of macro loans were given to men, while women were inadvertently nudged towards owning and running small-scale businesses predominantly.” (The Guardian NG)

Poland. Thousands of people gathered to protest in Warsaw on Saturday after Zbigniew Ziobro, Poland's Minister of Justice, announced that Poland is leaving the Council of Europe’s Istanbul Convention, a treaty made to prevent and combat violence against women. Ziobro accused the convention of "constructing the so-called socio-cultural gender in opposition to biological sex." (CNN)

Tripura, India. Online protests led by students calling for the end of violence against women surged after a series of rapes occurred in the Tripura region. Students demanded capital punishment for the five rapists and for a united front when it comes to combating violence against women and girls. Almost all of the rapists were arrested shortly by authorities upon receiving the complaints. (Indian Express)


Must Reads: Changing Global Systems

Must Reads: a call to end violence against women journalists by UN expert, Dubravka Simonovic. The UN SWOP Report 2020 highlights the pressing need to end the practices that defy women and girls. The Gender Equality Attitudes Study 2019 examined how gender stereotypes across 10 countries affected women’s advancements. How the EU member states failed female survivors during the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for embracing gender equality. A new Gender Equality Forum Compact that aims at holding countries accountable to the women, peace and security agenda.

  1. Are you ready for change? Gender Equality Attitudes Study 2019. The UN Women report highlights and compares the scale of gender-based stereotypes across 10 countries (Colombia, India, Japan, Kenya, Nigeria, The Philippines, Sweden, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and United States). The results aim to show policymakers, private sector leaders, and civil society how the prevalence of gender-based stereotypes can harm women’s advancement and worsen gender inequality. (UN Women)
  1. The United Nations State of World Population Report 2020 is an interactive platform highlighting the importance of remaining aware of the dangers of female mutilation, child marriage and son preference - especially in the age of COVID-19. “The practices reduce and limit their capacity to participate fully in society and to reach their full potential.” (United Nations Population Fund)
  1. Dubravka Šimonović, UN expert on violence against women, says, “Women journalists have become increasingly targeted as visible and outspoken representatives of women’s rights [...] journalists face even higher levels of discrimination if they are not only women, but also indigenous, from a minority, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or intersex.” (UN News)
  1. Maria Luísa Moreira, a MSc candidate and communications assistant at the LSE Centre for Women, Peace and Security, writes about how the denial of structural gender inequalities in EU member states has put domestic abuse cases at alarmingly high rates due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and how there needs to be action taken to protect those who are in danger. (London School of Economics)
  1. The Generation Equality Forum is developing a new Compact for women, peace and security and humanitarian action. The Compact aims at pushing member states and fellow actors who are allies of the Beijing Platform and UNSCR 1325 to “enhance the implementation of financial and political commitments and responsibilities on women, peace and security and humanitarian action.” (Gender Equality Forum)

MORE TO READ:

Gender Action for Peace and Security UK’s shadow report examines how the UK government has and could have taken action on the Women, Peace and Security Agenda in 2019. “In this important anniversary year of UNSCR 1325, we hope that Governments and donors globally, including the UK, will commit to implementing the agenda in full to ensure that the rights, needs and experiences of women and girls are met – and that women and girls can participate in the decisions that affect their lives.” (GAPS UK)

The Human Rights Council held the first panel on the annual full-day discussion on the human rights of women and girls on accountability for women and girls in humanitarian settings. Tatiana Mukanire, National Coordinator for the National Network of Survivors of Sexual Violence (DRC), said “that some people still believed that rape did not exist or that it was not so serious -- this was absurd and revolting! Rape and sexual violence were the most humiliating way to kill a person while letting them breathe.” (OHCHR)

ALSO:

TUNE IN: Digital Dialogue Series: A Conversation on National Accountability for Conflict-Related Sexual Violence on July 21st, 2020 at 11AM EST. This event celebrates the launch of a Special Issue of the Journal of International Criminal Justice on Progress and Challenges of National Efforts to Address Impunity for Sexual Violence.

  • This series is hosted by the UN Team of Experts on the Rule of Law and Sexual Violence in Conflict and Center for Human Rights, Gender and Migration at the Institute for Public Health.
  • Karen Naimer, Director of Programs at Physicians for Human Rights, will be a guest panelist speaking about How traditional jurisdictions embrace renewed accountability demands - in DRC, along with others.
  • For more details and registration: https://spark.adobe.com/page/BKdUQCMyYyJbJ/

SUBMIT: Building the Evidence on Protracted Forced Displacement: A Multi-Stakeholder Partnership, a joint research program developed by the World Bank, UNHCR and the UK Government’s Department for International Development is calling for research proposals on the theme ofPreventing social conflict and promoting social cohesion in forced displacement contexts”.

  • Submissions are due by July 30th, 2020. Apply here.
  • For more information, visit: World Bank.