Woman Plus...
  N 1, 2002

Regional informational campaign in the countries of Commonwealth of Independent States and Lithuania

On November 23rd in Moscow there was a conference devoted to the beginning of the International action "16 days of active measures against violence toward women". Its participants discussed the realization of the Regional informational and educational campaign UNIFEM in defense of women rights.

The campaign in defense of women rights to life without violence is carried out in the nine countries of the region (Azerbaijan, Belorussia, Kazakhstan, Kirgizstan, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia, Uzbekistan, Tadjikistan) by means of the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM). An official opening of the campaign took place on October 24, 2001. The duration of the campaign is 18 months.

Nowadays, a research of knowledge of the society of the violent relations between people, first of all - of home violence and sexual encroachment at work, is made in all the country-members. A methodic of the conducting of the research is made ready, questionnaires and focus-groups are worked out. The researches are to be carried out before December 15, 2001, and their results will be published and become a starting point of conducting of the campaign.

The aim of the regional campaign "Life without violence" is a forming in the society the relation to the violence as to the crime and violation of human rights and an increase of the knowledge of its economic and social consequences, reasons and demonstrations.

The motto "Life without violence" was used in the campaigns carried out in the countries of South America and the Caribbean Sea, South-East Asia and Africa.

The logotype of the campaign is a Woman-sun (a rock drawing). Its idea is quite simple: a woman, as well as the sun, gives us life and warmth, lights the course of her children and her family life. At the same time woman life is full of difficulties and troubles. The age of the rock drawing amounts to thousands of years, but the subject is still vital and actual.

The campaign contributes to the development of the regional networks - of journalists, layers, non-governmental organizations - in order to exchange experience and to sum up efforts in the struggle against violence against women.

On a regional level the coordination of the campaign is conducted by a regional manager of a project on the part of UNIFEM and a regional council, consisting of the heads of the regional governments of donor-type organizations and agents of U.N.O. On a national level the campaign is conducted by national working groups including the representatives of governmental institutions, NCO and crisis centers, journalists, employees of law-enforcement organs, layers, representatives of donor-type agencies, etc.

The regional informational campaign will pass all over Russia. Pilot programs will be worked out in eight republics, cities, regions and in future extended in 89 subjects of the Russian Federation. From October 24 in the seven Russian regions the opening of the campaign already took place: these are Buriatya, Karelia, Komi, Tatarstan and cities Irkutsk, Tula, Dubna.

Non-governmental women organizations and crisis centers are conducting actions in the high and secondary educational institutions, schools, cultural institutes (cinemas, libraries). The information about the campaign is heard from broadcasting stations and TV-channels. The question about the ways of more affective realization of the campaign is discussed by the heads of administration, officials of law-enforcement organs, social organizations - i. e. all those who are interested in its solution.


No to the violence!

One of the obstacles to the realization of woman rights and their equal participation in the life of the society is violence against women. A declaration about liquidation of violence against women, adopted by U.N.O. in 1993, define the term "violence against women" as actions including "any violent act, accomplished on the gender grounds, which cause or may cause physical, sexual or psychological damage or sufferings of a woman, as well as threats of committing such kind of acts, compulsion or voluntary deprivation of liberty, either in social of private life". Violence against women has its own specific character, which means that it needs special countermeasures. Acts of violence against women and girls represent serious infringement of their rights and do great harm to their physical and psychological health. Violence against women has various types and forms:

  • brute force (beating by parents, brothers, relatives, husband, outsiders, maiming and injuring, etc.)
  • sexual violence (constraint to sexual intercourse, rape, sexual solicitation, compulsion to prostitution, etc.)
  • psychological violence (humiliation, threats on the part of the parents, husband, relatives, outsiders, compulsory marriage, imposing bans on getting education, jobs, insults, etc.)
  • economic violence (preference to a man when hiring, etc.)

Frequently some forms of violence against women has secret character and the scale of spreading of this problem is difficult to determine. But it is an invisible problem of every society. Even in the most auspicious conditions, in stable, if social relations are concerned, countries women undergo violence at home, in the streets, at work, etc.

Most women suffer from the lack of private personal security and humiliation of human dignity. Many of them have already got used to the constant feeling of alarm and diffidence that change their behavior and goal of life. The fear of violence restrain women in their development, revelation of their talents, thus resulting in great loss of manpower.

Domestic violence is a special subject. Unfortunately, home and family are not always an islet of safety for a woman. In the families where the acts of violence happen children are the witnesses of these acts. Psychiatrists noticed that men watching beating of their mothers in the childhood stand a three times better chance of committing violence against their future wives.

Sexual harassment is a form of insult of women at work. Lack of special articles of law for sexual harassment or careless definitions in the existing legislation could favor violence.

Violence against women is not only women problem. First of all it is a problem of the society, where violation of human rights to safety, physical immunity and dignity with respect to women unfortunately has a traditional character. The following actions could be opposed to it:

  • Perfection of state policy and legislation in the field of violence against women: assistance to the working out of a law against domestic violence; making of social examination of the existing legislation taking into account international and regional experience.
  • Improvement of work of security organizations aimed at preventive measures, registration and pleading cases connected with violence against women: holding educational seminars for officials of law-enforcement structures, public health service and social services to work out special approach to the cases of violence against women.
  • Examining of the causes of violence.
  • Education and enlightenment of the population: publication of posters, booklets, preparation of new and spreading of already existing materials denouncing violence against women; series of programs about human rights are planned to be made and broadcast on state and commercial radio-stations; publication of electronic bulletin about the campaign is already carried out by the Informational center of Independent Women Forum.
  • Stirring up of the social efforts in the struggle against violence against women: during the action "16 days of active measures against violence" documentaries "Russian women against violence" will be broadcast on the 167 regional TV-channels; before the broadcasting of the films the women noncommercial organizations and crisis centers will hold press-conferences, round-table discussions of necessary measures aimed at precautions and prevention of home violence, competition of children drawings will be held; working out and publication of manuals and educational programs on violence against women for training of professional groups - physicians, nurses, judges, educational officials, policemen, etc.
  • Drawing attention of the mass media to this social significant problem: competitions on the best articles in the press and best materials on the TV and radio will pass.

Violence against women is as serious reason of death and physical disability of women as cancer, and more frequent reason of worsening of health than road accidents and malaria taken together. In accordance with the data of foreign specialists at least one of five women once used to undergo physical or sexual violence, cruel treatment on the part of a man.

Every day in America 11 women die of domestic violence.

In Kazakhstan every 5-6 hours a woman is killed or raped. Grave injury is delivered every 3 hours. More than 60% of Kazakh women at least once underwent physical or sexual violence. About every third woman suffers violence in her family.

In 1993 14500 women were killed by their husbands and more than 65000 were gravely injured in Russian Federation.

What does woman loose if she is an object of violence?

Life, health, very often her family, job, professionalism, respect in the society, possible degradation of her personality with such consequences as crimes, prostitution, drug addiction, alcoholism.

What does the family loose?

Valuable posterity, normal upbringing of the children, creative status, an economic status of the family falls.

What does the society loose?

Personality, valuable worker, a family as a cell of society, and as a result - intellect, manpower, tolerance, stability and, finally, potential for development. At the same time society suffers of the rise of tension due to the up-growth of crime and other negative events.

What does the State loose?

First of all, legal image and, what is the most important, social and political security.

More detailed information you will find at the web-site to the address: www.nasilie.net


KAZAKHSTAN

Campaign "Society against violence against women" was organized by the Crisis center "Female friends" and association of the Kazakhstan crisis centers together with mass media and met with support from Soros Fund (Budapest).

"This is a very serious problem for our society, - says Nadezhda Gladyrj, Director of the Crisis center "Female friends". " We must do our best to enlighten the people in order to prevent violence against women and children."

According to the data of GUVD (General Department of Domestic Affairs) of the City of Alma-Ata 9 months of the year of 2001 resulted in:
4357 crimes against women, 1659 out of them to be the crimes of family or domestic origin, thus amounting to more than 38% of the total number;
violent acts against women comprised: deliberate injuring of medium weight - 35, deliberate grave injuring - 17, violent sexual acts - 15, rapes - 157; murders - 34; tortures - 8, threats - 1; hooligan acts -96; fraudulent operations - 391.

The campaign would comprise the following arrangements:

  • Round Table "Problems will be solved jointly" together with representatives of the state and legislation bodies;
  • "Liquidation of legal illiteracy" action over the radio;
  • Round Table "Woman's image in the mass media", informal contacts with journalists;
  • Mobile exhibition of posters "Youth against violence";
  • Publication of the poster, dedicated to the campaign "Society against violence against women";
  • "Hot news wall" report, dedicated to the campaign;
  • "Landing volunteers" action at the schools of Alma-Ata;
  • Special edition of information bulletin;
  • "Information bridge" action amongst crisis centers of Kazakhstan;
  • Placing of "Security: YES and NO" loose leaves in newspapers;
  • "Aggressiveness is out of fashion" action-disco;
  • Demonstration of social reels "Female friends are always near", "Make your choice" over TV channels of Alma-Ata and the Republic of Kazakhstan;
  • Setting of stands dedicated to the activity of the Crisis center "Female friends" in the assembly points of Alma-Ata;
  • Social questioning of the police officers on the violation problem in Alma-Ata;
  • Summarizing conference over the results of "Society against violence against women" campaign.

As Sholpan Mohamadieva, mother of three children, says: "I know what violence is, I experienced this horror, this feeling of feebleness and despair, and I am ready to do everything for my daughter to avoid being a victim and my sons - to become violators!"


REGION OF IRKUTSK

The campaign "Life without violence" was started in Irkutsk Region on October 24. Representatives of Coalition of local communities on the problems of violence, delegates from Crisis centers of the Irkutsk Region, lawyers from Baikal center of legal reforms, representatives of Irkutsk state technical university and Museum of History, mass media journalists were enlisted as campaign participants.

The action "16 days of violence against population" was held from November 25 to December 10, 2001 in accordance with the designated program. At that time the officials of the Siberia and the Far East Crisis Centers' network from the cities Irkutsk, Shelehov, Sayansk, Usy-Kut, Ust-Iliminsk, Milailovka settlement of the Cheremkhovski region took an active part in the campaign. In these cities there were "hot-line days": during the interrogation of the population on the problem of violence in the society the next questions were asked: Does, in your opinion, the violence in the family exist? What do you think should be done to lessen violence in our families? Do you think that the scenes of violence showed on TV increase violence in the society?

In Irkutsk the first answer was answered in the affirmative by 98% of women and 78% of men. The third question was answered in the affirmative by 90% of women and 75% of men.

The answer to the second question comprised interesting suggestions: that enlightenment, educational and pedagogical work should be carried out with the population; on the necessity of development of both social and cultural programs; on the restriction of broadcasting of TV-programs and films with the scenes of violence, sex and aggression.

During these 16 days: IGTRK (Irkutsk State TV and Radio Company) informed of the action; round tables were put on the radio of Irkutsk and Irkutsk region (total 1.5 hours); meetings, conferences with professional communities of doctors, teachers, employees of children's homes, lectures, talks with students and schoolchildren were held. A video film "Prevention of teenagers violence on the stage of dating" was shown in the 17 educational institutions of the city. The film was shot at the request of the Social Psychological Center "Dialogue" by Irkutsk Lyceum 47.

In the town of Shelohov the problems of violence were discussed with Demidova V.I. , the deputy mayor dealing with the social questions, 2 round-table conferences were held with the public where it was considered necessary to raise the social status of the family in the society. From November 28 to December 2 there was a seminar with the senior pupils of the town of Shelohov on the problems of violence in the family which resulted in writing of an "Appeal to the parents" where children asked to establish more harmonious relations in the family. A posters contest "The colors of the life" also took place in Shelohov, the works on violence, drug addiction were submitted for public consideration.

Competitions, initiated by the Ministry of Education, the museum of History of Irkutsk and the Association of Artists, of the best essays on the subject "Violence - what is it?" and of the best drawings on the subject "My offence" were announced in the city of Irkutsk. Both competitions will be dedicated to the 8th of March, 2001.

A press-conference "Life without violence" was held by a Baikal regional Association of women "Angara" on December 11, 2001; the participants of the conference were acquainted with the aims and tasks of the campaign "Life without violence". The action "16 days of active measures against violence" was reviewed and an informational educational campaign in Irkutsk was planned. Production and broadcasting radio- and TV-programs about the problems of violence in the Irkutsk region, creating of a web-site, publishing of a specialized school-books, illustrated by the drawings of the children from the Irkutsk region, sociological research of violence in the Baikal region, carrying out of training, seminars with the inhabitants, participating in the expertise of local legislation pertaining to the observance of convention on liquidation of all forms of women discrimination, gender enlightenment in the kindergartens, schools, institutes of higher education and other measures were included in the plan.

Right to life without violence is the main right of every person!

The message of Kofi Annan, the UN General secretary, on the occasion of International day for extermination of violence against women, to be marked on November 25.

Celebrating the second International day of extermination of violence against women, we as never before realize that violence against women remains a global phenomenon against which no country, no society and no community is insured.

The recent events made this problem an issue of the day. Treatment of women and girls in Afghanistan was a direct insult to human dignity, equality and humanity for the last several years. As we face an important political, humanitarian and remedial challenge in Afghanistan, the priority importance for carrying out of any future role of U.N.O. in this country will be attached to the solution of the problem of a difficult situation of women.

A little more than a year ago the world leaders confirmed in their Declaration of Millenium that "men and women have a right to live and bring up their children in the conditions worthy of men, free of hunger and fear of violence, oppression and injustice". Also last year Security Council for the first time turned to a question of position of women under conditions of armed conflict and adopted a resolution 1325 concerning women, peace and security. This historic document urged all the sides, involved in the armed conflict, to defend women and girls from gender violence, first of all from rape and sexual solicitation, and emphasized duty of all the states to put an end to the impunity of those who are responsible for the crimes against humanity and responsible for military crimes, including sexual and other violence against women and girls. The same year the states-members of our organization gathered on a ceremony of signing of the U.N.O. convention and its additional protocols on the struggle against transnational organized crime; one of the protocols was aimed at extermination of slavery, above all women and children slavery.

These obligations must become a lodestar in our mission of women deliverance from violence, wherever they live. Violence against women is not a "women question", but touches upon all of us - first of all, men. Indeed, men should oppose to the violence against women, and accept and respect equal role and rights of women. Speaking about violence against women no reasons for tolerance and no possible excuses are accepted.

On this International day of extermination of violence against women let us remember the words of the member of Afghan women group, one of the many unsung heroines of our time: "Society is like a bird. It has two wings. And a bird cannot fly if one wing is broken. So let us set our minds on ensuring all the members of the society to fly with both wings, the wings of equal strength and equal dignity".

November 22, 2001.