‘Empowered in Advocating for the Elimination of Violence
Against Women and Children’: (IPA Webinar – 24 Nov)
The International Presentation Association (IPA) held a global webinar on the 24th November 2020 on the eve of the UN International Day for the “Elimination of Violence Against Women (November 25th) marking the beginning of #16DaysofAction. The title of the webinar was ‘Empowered in Advocating for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Children’.
The IPA’s Executive Director, Sr. Ann Marie Quinn opened the webinar welcoming 130 Presentation people from Africa, Australia, Canada, England, Ireland, India, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Thailand, and the United States, placing the theme of the seminar in the context of the IPA’s status at the United Nations and the first and fifth Commitments made at the IPA 7th Assembly in 2017, namely:
- To “Respond to the cry of Earth” and to people made poor by embracing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in a Human Rights framework, addressing the issues of women and Children, Care of the Earth and Indigenous Peoples (as relevant to our local regions.) (1st Commitment), and
- To “Develop a Strategic Plan for IPA”. (5th Commitment)
Both commitments are clearly interconnected. Having a Specific Advocacy focus for IPA is critical for IPA’s presence, engagement and collaboration at the UN whether it is at the UN Headquarters in New York or Geneva (the UN Home of Human Right), or Nairobi (the UN Office for Social Protection). This sharpens the IPA’s emphasis at the UN and achieves greater impact on a global scale, as well as strengthening awareness about the Sustainable Development Goals 2030 and the Human Rights Framework across the IPA Network, according to Sr. Ann Marie.
Thanks to the consultative and participatory online gatherings in April, May and July 2020, the IPA has a Specific IPA UN Advocacy Focus for the next two years. The focus emerged from the IPA Foci on Women and Children, as Sr. Ann Marie shares in her introduction to the webinar:
“Violence against women and girls (VAWG) is one of the most widespread, persistent and devastating human rights violations in our world today and remains largely unreported due to silence, stigma and shame surrounding it.
Emerging data shows that since the outbreak of COVID 19, reports of violence against women, particularly domestic violence, has sharply increased in several countries as security, health and financial concerns heightened tensions, accentuated by confined living conditions of lockdown”.
The IPA Project for the International Day for Eradication of Poverty, is, as many of you are aware, the Society’s mission in Papua New Guinea (PNG). The focus of their project is ‘Towards the Eradication of Gender – Based Violence’.
“Our Work in PNG continues the proud tradition of Nano Nagle and Presentation People from across the globe. This project will work to empower women and children and address systemic barriers which continue their oppression”.
See link to information on the Papua New Guinea (PNG) project: HERE
Dr. Despoina Afrodi Milaki, the IPA NGO Representative at the UN made a presentation on the nature and ‘real life impact’ of violence against women and children detailing and sharing the truly shocking statistic, each figure a life. She identified 3 ways to eliminate this violence under the key headings of Prevent, Respond and Advocate.
- Prevent – by educating, awareness-raising, empowering, building, engaging in key areas. (se detail in the document link below)
- Respond – by providing quality services to women and children survivors of violence, detailing the form these services might take.
- Advocate – defining advocacy as: ‘a deliberate process, based on evidence that directly or indirectly influences decision-makers, stakeholders and relevant audiences to support and implement actions that eliminate violence against women and children, and achieve gender equality.
Dr. Afrodi Milaki then went on to outline in detail How to begin advocacy work, the nature of Strategic Planning and guidance on how to do this. You can see the guidelines in this Powerpoint presentation in the pdf doc IPA Webinar_Nov 2020_NGO Rep PPT
Sr. Ann Marie brought the webinar to a close acknowledging the work and contribution of all who made this event, and the entire work of the IPA possible both historically, and on a daily basis. She concluded:
I bring this webinar to a close with the words of the 7th Assembly prayer: “Creator God you are luring us into a future more expansive than our minds can conceive: Unsettle Us; Disturb and Move us to the edge of New Horizons”. Amen.
You can watch a recording of Webinar (1 hr 20 mins) HERE
See also Eliminate Violence Against Women