Violence against women is still one of the most extreme forms of discrimination and violation of women’s rights. Although significant progress has been made in guaranteeing and protecting these rights, there have also been many setbacks. The persistence of violence is still a great obstacle for achieving real gender equality (and vice versa).
The German Development Cooperation implemented by the GIZ, through the Regional Program Fighting Violence against Women in Latin America (ComVoMujer), has been working since 2010 to support national efforts in Bolivia, Ecuador, Paraguay, and Peru to strengthen a regional exchange between state entities, civil organizations, academic institutions, and the private sector.
The First Regional Meeting, “From Exchange to Change”, was held in 2012. ComVoMujer invited the four Latin American counterparts it works with as well as German representatives and other international guests to this very festive, wide-ranging, and interactive event.
The Regional Meeting “The Worlds are Changing” promotes a direct exchange between ComVoMujer’s counterparts, seeking to establish sustainable cooperation between them. Networking can take place in two different ways: Either between the different worlds (The world of norms, the cooperative world, the world of information, the world of impacts, and the world of evidence) or between the different levels of implementation (local, national, regional, and international).
This way all the different entities can work together and create a dialogue on a topic that interests us all: preventing and eradicating violence against women, especially those women that suffer multiple forms of discrimination and social marginalization. It is our all obligation to play a vital role in working towards this goal.
The Meeting will focus on prevention as a crucial strategy to eradicate violence against women. All sectors have to intensify their efforts and, with the leadership of the States and the Ministries for Women, aim at achieving shifts in patriarchal paradigms and discourses.
Although the interacting worlds are closely connected and continuously changing, it is fundamental that we maintain the achieved shifts and acknowledge that there are some things that should be promoted in all worlds. They include: political will from the highest authorities and leaders; budgetary allocation, considering preventive strategies as an investment rather than expenditure; and a permanent critical reflection allowing us to monitor, evaluate, and improve upon the implemented measures.
We invite participants to join the Regional Meeting to see and celebrate – without prejudices and stereotypes, but with energy and determination – the contributions from the different worlds, which have shown their strong commitment to prevent violence against women.
Only this way will awareness about the importance of prevention result in stronger cooperation and synergies between actors so that innovative measures continue to be implemented and even new measures are created.
The overarching objective of the II Regional Meeting “The Worlds are Changing” is for participants to exchange experiences, knowledge, measures, and/or tools to prevent violence against women and to establish agreements that focus on eradicating violence against women.
- Encourage an active and committed participation of all involved before, during, and after the II Regional Meeting.
- Promote knowledge about other initiatives, best practices, and lessons learned concerning the prevention of violence against women.
- Provide a space for establishing cooperation, partnership, and joint initiatives that ensure the sustainability of good practices.
Thematic core areas of the “The Worlds are Changing”
1. Legal framework : We will discuss laws and policies regarding the prevention of violence against women (extensive laws dealing with violence against women, laws against violence towards female politicians and candidates, penal liability of feminicides, and others)
The legal frameworks will be reviewed considering their theoretical and conceptual contents as well as experiences made with the implementation and application of these laws.
2. Changing socio-cultural structures that legitimize and heighten violence against women: In this thematic core area, we will debate strategies that have been used by citizens in rural and urban areas, campaigns for the prevention of violence against women, and measures directed towards important focal points. Additionally, there will be room for debating the responsibility of men, educational systems, and the media.
3. Safe businesses free from violence against women: We are trying to promote the participation of the private sector and convince companies of the win-win strategy with the help of measures to improve the well-being of their employees and initiatives for external groups of interest.
4. Generating evidence: Throughout the event we will present and analyze the results of theses, studies and investigations, new approaches, and data that reveal the reality of violence against women.
Profile of participants
The event will provide ample space for diversity and inspiration which will promote a dialog between different actors, including state authorities, women’s groups and other NGOs, journalists, academics, and representatives of the private sector.
We hope to welcome approximately 120 participants from all countries of the region and various other countries.
Format of the Regional Meeting
The first day of the two days starts with an official inauguration including a panel discussion and will be followed by a presentation of each of the five “worlds”: The world of norms, the cooperative world, the world of information, world of impacts and the world of evidence.
Participants can join any presentation they would like to, following the idea “wherever your feet might take you.” Every participant should feel free to wander around and follow their interests in search for new ideas or cooperation.
In the evening of the first day, we will celebrate a cultural night where participants will be able to enjoy artistic and entertaining presentations that will promote good vibes and help to generate a connection between participants.
The second day will start with a short summary of the first day´s activities and continue with different presentations within the different worlds. At the end of the Regional Meeting, participants will be able to enjoy a formal and festive closure.
In addition to the five worlds, two further spaces will be permanently available: The “World Café” and the “World of Exposition”. In these worlds, participants will be able to present their experiences, interact with other participants, take their negotiations to the next level, and/or establish bi- and multilateral agreements.
Main Steps / Date
|Send participation list proposals||April|
|Elaboration and distribution of recommended reading list||May|
|Elaboration and production of materials||March to August|
|Completion of logistical preparations||September|
|Regional Meeting||6th and y 7th October|
|Final Report and other post-event materials||February 2016|