Over at the Huffington Post, Liberal Democrat International Development Minister Lynne Featherstone writes about her trip to New York for the UN Commission on the Status of Women which is this year focusing on violence against women and girls.
First she talks about what the UK Government is doing to tackle this problem which affects 1 in 3 women worldwide:
The Coalition Government has provided nearly £40 million of ring-fenced funding for specialist domestic and sexual violence services, and national helplines.
We’ve invested in changing attitudes and behaviours. You may have seen the UK television adverts we’ve launched to tackle rape and relationship abuse amongst teenagers.
We’ve reformed our legislation, introducing two new stalking offences to better protect victims and better support the police and prosecutors who bring about justice.
She then looked at what is needed to tackle the problem on a global basis:
The root causes of violence against women and girls are gender inequality and related social norms – or, traditional ‘rules’ of societies.
In short, to end violence against women, we have to change minds.
I’ve just been on a discussion panel with Finland, South Africa and the OECD to discuss the best ways to do just this.
The evidence shows, for example, that you cannot change unequal social norms, and gender-based violence, without working with men and boys. This may seem obvious to some, but when it comes to experiences of violence and abuse it’s common for women only to talk to women!
You can read the whole article here.
Lynne has also recorded a short video in which she asks you to sign this pledge on demanding global action to end violence against women and girls.
* Caron Lindsay is Co-Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings