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NO to Violence, YES to Networking

News author: IPS news/UNIFEM
Source of news: IPS News/UNIFEM
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2010-03-10 12:40:06 / News read 1469 reading

UNIFEM’S Say No-UNiTE platform is only four months old. But since its launch in November of last year, the anti-violence campaign has served as an example of how the world body can use online social networking to organise activists and civil society workers around the globe.

 

The “Say No” website allows activists working on gender violence issues to share ideas by posting an “action” online. The action can be viewed and commented upon by other registered users, who can use the website to develop ideas and contacts with activists around the world.

 

There are over 183,000 online “actions” to date – which gave programme participants a lot to talk about at a Commission on the Status of Women side event organised around the so-far successful UNIFEM initiative. The event was largely an opportunity for NGOs to share their various projects on targeting violence against women. The conference had no specific geographic focus, since the event’s few listed speakers represented organisations with an international presence and mission.

 

A crowded conference room in the U.N.’s North Lawn Building hosted speeches from European Parliament Member Eva Svensson, who talked about her work in putting violence against women on the Parliament’s legislative agenda, and Dianne Curtis, head of Zonta International, a global women’s empowerment-focused NGO.

Svensson talked about her organisation’s work in over 60 countries, as well as its support for UNIFEM’s 100-million-dollar fund for anti-violence programmes. The session’s more open-ended second half included statements from NGOs from all over the world.

A representative from an Iraqi civil society organisation called Al Hakim talked about his group’s attempts at getting religious leaders to talk about the need to end gender violence.

An executive with the Young Women’s Christian Association said that UNIFEM’s fund for combating violence against women had helped sponsor YWCA-organised anti-violence workshops all over the world.

And a young woman from Genderlinks, a U.N.-funded programme that holds online dialogues between women’s rights activists around the world, talked about the effect of social networking technology on women’s activism in southern Africa.

During a week in which practically every major women’s organisation has a representative in New York, Tuesday’s event provided a look at how NGOs and activists could connect the other 51 weeks of the year.

 

 

 

 

Say NO – UNiTE to End Violence against Women is a global call for action, launched in November 2009, on ending violence against women and girls. It is presented by UNIFEM as a contribution to advance the objectives of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s campaign UNiTE to End Violence against Women through social mobilization. UNIFEM Goodwill Ambassador Nicole Kidman is the Spokesperson of Say NO.

 

Say NO – UNiTE to End Violence against Women is a global call for action, launched in November 2009, on ending violence against women and girls. It is presented by UNIFEM as a contribution to advance the objectives of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s campaign UNiTE to End Violence against Women through social mobilization. UNIFEM Goodwill Ambassador Nicole Kidman is the Spokesperson of Say NO.

 

Based on country data available, up to 70 percent of women experience physical or sexual violence from men in their lifetime. It happens everywhere — at home and at work, on the streets and in schools, during peacetime and in conflict. Violence against women and girls has far-reaching consequences, harming families and communities, stunting human development, and undermining economic growth. Everyone has a role to play in combating this global pandemic; the time to act together is NOW.

 

Say NO aims to trigger and highlight actions by individuals, governments and civil society partners. Actions can range from reaching out to students at schools, to volunteering at local shelters, advocating for legislation or donating funds towards programmes that protect women and girls from violence. Every action will be counted to showcase the global groundswell of engagement that exists on the issue. The initial target is to reach 100,000 actions by March 2010 and 1 million actions in one year.

 

Say NO builds upon the momentum generated during its first phase when 5,066,549 people signed on to a global call to make ending violence against women a top priority worldwide. Heads of State and Ministers from 69 governments and more than 600 parliamentarians have added their names to Say NO since then.

 

Working through traditional as well as online networks and social media, Say NO will engage participants from all walks of life. A range of web-based and other tools available on saynotoviolence.org will support partners in their advocacy efforts, highlight their work to a global audience and inspire others.

 

In line with the Secretary-General’s campaign framework that calls for an increase in funding for the multi-lateral UN Trust Fund in Support of Actions to Eliminate Violence against Women, Say NO encourages donations for the UN Trust Fund, which supports local and national programmes catalysing change on the ground.

 

Say NO – UNiTE to End Violence against Women is an expanding global coalition of individuals, organizations, governments and the private sector to realize a vision that is ambitious, but must never be impossible — a future that is free from violence against women and girls. Let us count you in — take action to end violence against women now.

 

If you are interested in this project please visit the following website: http://www.unifem.org/campaigns/sayno/

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