Before a new structure can be erected, an old one has to be torn down. The structure of gender persecution has existed since the dawn of civilization, but this generation has the opportunity to demolish it.
Nova Earth Day on Feb. 14 is in part designed to spotlight the lack of equality in the world between men and women and successful work to end gender discrimination and persecution. Here are the top 10 success stories taken from the pages of the Global Fund for Women for 2011, actions that have won significant victories against gender bias in all its forms.
Top 10 Wins for Women’s Movements
As millions rose up last year demanding justice, women were on the frontlines and behind the headlines pushing to advance human rights. Global Fund for Women celebrates International Women’s Day with ten victories won by our grantee partners in 2011. From securing bodily rights to transforming how justice is delivered to rape survivors, women are indeed ushering in peace and justice for us all.
10 European Women Win Domestic Violence Treaty
After decades of advocacy by women’s groups, the Council of Europe adopted the groundbreaking Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence. More »
The region’s first legally binding treaty on domestic violence is the most comprehensive legal document on violence against women in the world. It is also the first international legally binding document that protects women from forced marriage and female genital mutilation and lesbian, bisexual and trans women from violence. The Convention needs ratification by 10 out of 47 member states to come into force.
The Convention criminalizes multiple forms of violence—including sexual, physical and psychological—and outlines concrete measures governments must undertake in times of peace and in conflict to prevent violence, protect and support survivors, and prosecute perpetrators.
Governments will be required to address gaps in national domestic violence legislation, monitor police conduct, and establish shelters, national helplines, and counseling services. And to ensure compliance, an international body of experts will monitor each country’s implementation.
European women’s rights organizations provided substantial expertise and recommendations on the treaty and lobbied for its passage. Women Against Violence Europe (WAVE-Network) played a key role in coordinating leading women’s organizations and helping to negotiate and draft the treaty. The Convention provides a major boost to women’s groups in their work to hold governments accountable to end violence against women.