The 57th session of the Commission on the Status of Women is taking place at United Nations Headquarters from 4 to 15 March, with a particular focus on "Elimination and Prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls". The ACORD delegation is currently in New-York and our 1st event will happen at 3.30pm GMT: "Challenging and Pfreventing Hidden War Crimes: Film screening and panel discussion"Panelists:Irma van Dueren, Head Gender Division, Dutch
Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Soliciting political will and donors’ commitmentNgone Diop, Chief Gender
and Women in Development, African Centre for Gender and Social Development: Influencing pro-women
policy and gender budgetingSalina Sanou, Head of Policy
and Advocacy, ACORD: Addressing root causes of SGBV in
a bid to address prevention and eliminationMore from the team later today! Our action towards a violence-free world for women and girls here.
ACORD and its partners is working with the very discriminated LGBTI-community of Burundi as part of the efforts for addressing the initiatives for ensuring the rights of access to HIV prevention and AIDS treatment and care for Hard to Reach communities in East and central Africa.. A training session was held on 31 July 2012 to raise awareness of the high number of HIV infection rate among the LGBTQI-community. The debate around right to health services for hard to reach populations like the commercial sex workers, ethnic and sexual minorities is slowly gaining acceptance and space in the public sphere of Burundi. In particular for decades the sexual minorities have been discriminated by law and by negative attitudes. In this regard, Burundi, like the countries in the ECA region, has banned same-sex practices at the risk of imprisonment of two to three years or fines of 50,000 - 100,000 Burundian francs (30-60 Euros). However, unlike the other countries in the region (such as Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda), Burundi did not inherit the existence of these anti-gay laws, but initiated them on its own motives. These criminalizing laws have continue to abate the spread of the HIV and AIDS epidemic,...
ACORD's local Burundian partner 'Réseau Murekerisoili' is working to empower women and to offer them much needed support in case of domestic violence and rape. The organization managed to open an aid center in Kayanza, where about seven women seek treatment every month after being violated or raped. I got a chance to visit this center and to witness the important work they do in the ground. "The center has established its reputation as a non-partial aid giver and supported many women over the time of its existence since 2010", says Léoncie Mshinirinaya, the head of the women's shelter.
Local projects like this are invaluable within communities, and often have a great impact in promoting development and better livelihoods. In addition to the support the Women's center offers in occurrence of violations, it also enhances the women's role as employers and entrepreneurship by giving the women an access to livestock and farming facilities.
Blogger: Riikka LeppanenPhoto: Leoncie Mshinirinaya
The ‘We Can' campaign (translated as ‘Nous Pouvouns!' in French is a joint-program launched by ACORD and its partners in Burundi in 2010. It is tackling the serious issue of domestic violence. Before launching in Burundi, the program brought about positive results in various countries across the world, such as in Nepal and Kenya. The working method is to agree on a plan with the partners, and then apply local implementation and actively involve the families in the change. ‘We Can' is training the partners as well as the local people about the origins and contributors to these kinds of attitudes. Like the campaign's motto says, "Le changement commence avec moi", the change starts with me; Nous Pouvons challenges everyone to take another stand on this matter. Other inter-linked issue discussed in the trainings is rape, whether it happens out on the streets or at home. The existing attitudes do not encourage change in this matter either. There is a common belief according to which a girl who wears provocative (short, tight) clothes is almost asking to become raped. The female sexuality is still a taboo in Burundi, and it is brought in the discussion only in cases of...
The main topic of the event hosted by ACORD on the 2nd of March, 2012 at the CSW event in New-york was Calling out for the strengthening of livelihoods and foods security for SGBV survivors as a way of reparation. "Violence against women and girls is an endemic and grave problem. It affects about 7 in every 10 women at one point in their lives, yet it is neither inevitable nor intractable. Numerous efforts have been in place but much more needs to be done and intensified to: - change the harmful norms and practices, strengthen laws and policies, provide services and access to justice for survivors of violence and help survivors to rebuild their lives..." these words opened the scene for the rich discussions around the very important topic of strengthening livelihoods and food security for SGBV survivors as a way of reparations. Over a 100 participants male and female, from all corners of the world thronged the ACORD CSW parallel event to discuss the needs, challenges, lessons, best practices and recommendations on how to empower women survivors of Sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV) through livelihoods and food security strengthening. ACORD led a panel discussion comprising of Salina...