Category Archives: Other

Secretary Ban Ki-Moon’s Statement for the 10th December

“Discrimination targets individuals and groups that are vulnerable to attack: the disabled, women and girls, the poor, migrants, minorities, and all those who are perceived as different.

… But these victims of discrimination are not alone. The United Nations is standing with them, committed to defending the rights of all, and particularly the most vulnerable.  That is our identity and our mission.”

For information about Human Rights Day, the 2009 Human Rights Day theme “Embrace Diversity, End Discrimination”, or the UN, visit www.un.org

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Day 16, final day of the 16 Days of Action Campaign!

Today is Day 16 of the 16 Days of Action Campaign, Human Rights Day,  and here are some of the events taking place:

Women’s Aid Events:

  • 16 Facts for 16 Days email campaign (email 16days@womensaid.ie or phone 01-8684721 to sign up)
  • 16 Books for 16 Days in Chapters
  • Women’s Aid Public Awareness Campaign
  • Women’s Aid Online Advertising Campaign
  • Women’s Aid ‘Support a Friend’ Phone Charm Campaign

Events Around Ireland:

  • Near 90 FM’s “A Woman’s Voice” Broadcast
  • Violence Against Women 365 International Poster Exhibition continues in Waterford
  • Displays at various venues around Mayo
  • Human Rights in Ireland continue their 16 Days Campaign daily blog
  • “In Her Shoes” exhibition in Longford, and also in the Mid-West
  • Information Stands are placed around Sligo and Leitrim
  • Aoibhneas Refuge urges all of us to “Step Out of the Shadows”
  • Clare Women’s Network is running a powerful daily poster campaign
  • Galway Rape Crisis Network is running a daily fact campaign
  • Donegal has a poetry and art display
  • The final Art Workshop of the series will take place in Kildare
  • The final Wellness Workshop of the series will also take place in Kildare
  • Tipperary hosts Human Rights Based Training

Cyber Events:

  • Take Back the Tech continue their fabulous campaign with daily actions that are available to everyone! (www.takebackthetech.net)

International Events:

  • Kenya North Rift Women Voices training events in Kenya
  • FemLINKpacific Community Radio Broadcasts in the Figi Islands

There are also lots of messages of support for the Campaign from a variety of important Irish people and organisations, and from some international organisations, explaining why the 16 Days Campaign is so important to each of them. Use these events and campaigns to get involved yourself, and share the information with your friends and family!

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Guest blog from Caroline at Pavee Point

Tessa Collins and Caroline Mullen from Pavee Point VAW Programme are proud to be part of this campaign and would like to update you on our activities over the last 10 days.

We continue to disseminate the 16 days campaign facts daily to our friends and colleagues to ensure that the information is getting out there.  As we mentioned in our opening blog, we would be participating in the events for Traveller Focus Week (TFW) which started on 30th November including a celebration of Pavee Point’s 25th Anniversary. Where possible we linked TFW activities and 16 days of action activities to focus on the issues of VAW and to highlight the barriers facing Traveller women who may want to leave a violent relationship. In their daily lives, Traveller women experience triple discrimination; as women, as Traveller women, and as members of the Traveller community. The layer on top of that for a Traveller women who wants to leave a violent relationship, is the added burden of leaving her extended family, friends and culture behind. The weight of making that decision can never be underestimated. Pavee Point Travellers Centre, in consultation with AKIDWA and the NCCRI produced an information brochure in 2005 which is still relevant today, and a useful resource for understanding some of the issues. It is available on our website www.paveepoint.ie and is entitled “Challenging the misconceptions of violence against minority ethnic women, including Travellers, in Ireland: An information brochure for service providers”.

And so to the campaign – some of our activities included:

Day 1 Began for us with a coffee morning in Pavee Point where we invited members of the Roma community (men and women), some women from AKIDWA, the women of the Primary Health Care for Traveller Project, and all staff from Pavee Point for a coffee and a great pampering session from the Body Shop (free of charge). It was a relaxing morning which gave the groups space to meet and get to know each other better. There were about 60 people present on the day and we hope we can build on these relationships to work together on the issues of VAW in 2010. The sharing between the African women and the Traveller women on the day was particularly striking. We have also committed to working with the Roma group in 2010 on VAW issues. The serious part of the morning was to highlight the campaign – Breaking the Silence 16 days opposing Violence Against women. We tied a line of red bows for the 159 women who died violently in Ireland since 1996, lit a candle and held a minute’s silence to remember them.  Thanks to all participated and to those who generously donated “time and things” to make the day successful – unfortunately they are too numerous to mention here.

Day 8 We were delighted to participate in an information session with staff from the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre during TFW, to discuss some of the issues and barriers that stop Traveller women from using helpline services. It was a productive meeting and we hope to continue to build on this relationship and involve Traveller PHC projects in the new year. 

We also attended the “Key to Breaking the Silence” event organised by the North Inner City Action Group in Mountjoy Square to remember the 159 women who died since 1996. It was a very moving tribute and we stood for them in the driving rain, which made it all the more poignant.

Day 9 The Pavee Point VAW programme continued to keep a focus on the 16 days campaign throughout TFW. We believe that our small contributions have been useful in continuing to “break the silence” within the Traveller community on VAW. For example when we attended the “Pavee Point Anniversary Seminar – Revisiting the Status of Travellers in Irish Society 25 Years On”, we took the opportunity to make and distribute lilac ribbons on the day to highlight the Freedom From Pornography campaign. 

Day 13 We also attended the one day conference and launch of “Rape and Justice in Ireland A national Study of Survivor, Prosecutor and Court Responses to Rape” by Conor Hanly, with Dr. Deirdre Healy and Stacey Scriver. This conference and book launch commissioned by RCNI is important because it increases our knowledge on what is happening in Ireland today in relation to rape and justice.

Tessa Collins has also recorded a 10 min slot for Near FM 16 days campaign to highlight some of the issues relating to VAW for Traveller women.

We feel hopeful that in 2010 we will be able to raise the issue more and continue to “break the silence” throughout the year. Pavee Point Drugs Specific Initiative, Bray Travellers CDP, Daish and Bray Local Drugs task Force launched “Pavees Whiden Drug misuse within the Traveller Community” yesterday. It is tough, honest, and produced to aid discussion, address some of the problems, and educate Travellers and Traveller organisations around the country on this serious issue that is destroying lives. This DVD is a huge step in breaking the silence on the difficult issue of drug misuse in the Traveller community. The Traveller community is demonstrating its desire to deal with tough issues such as drugs and internal conflict – VAW is another of these tough issues.

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Guest blog from Amanda Kelly, Co-ordinator of Laois branch of Amnesty International

 

My name is Amanda Kelly and I am the Co-Ordinator of the Laois branch of Amnesty International. We are supporting Women’s Aid ’16 Days’ campaign. We are part of two events taking place during the 16 days.

On November 30th, Amnesty Ireland’s Executive Director, Colm O’Gorman came to Portlaoise to address Laois County Councillors at their monthly Council Meeting. He asked them to support the call for a Women’s Refuge in the County. The idea was warmly welcomed by the County Councillors. A motion was then passed at that meeting that Laois County Council would advocate the provision of a Women’s Refuge in the county, enabling victims of domestic violence to seek shelter within their own county.  The County Manager is requested to engage with the H.S.E. to pursue the matter.

Yesterday, December 8th saw Laois Amnesty support Laois Support Services for Domestic Violence’s “March of Hope”. The event will started at 3.45 p.m., convening at the Garda Station in Portlaoise and proceeding to the Courthouse. At 4 o’clock, a minute’s silence was observed for the 159 women who died as a result of violence in Ireland since 1996. 159 balloons were released to mark each of their lives. Candles and “Stop Violence Against Women” banners were also carried at the event. I’m glad to say that our event was very well attended. Laois Support Services for Domestic Abuse are an essential and vital element in supporting and assisting victims of domestic abuse in County Laois.    

Continued good wishes with the wonderful work you do. Through your website, you provide groups such as ours, the benefit of your knowledge and statistics, which we can use to raise awareness of your organisation at any ‘Stop Violence Against Women’ event we run locally throughout the year.

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Guest Blog from “Take Back the Tech!”

Take Back The Tech! is a collaborative campaign that takes place during the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence (25 Nov – 10 Dec). It is a call to everyone – especially women and girls – to take control of technology to end violence against women.

Build the campaign with your thoughts, ideas, words and imagination. Create and share digital postcards. Find out more about the reality of violence against women by watching digital stories. Blog with us. Upload and share video and audio clips. Create your own Take Back The Tech! campaign.

We are past the half-way point of the Take Back The Tech! 16 days of activism campaign, and hope that you’ve managed to find some time to do a couple of the daily actions, or to tweet about them and help pass the word.

We’ve had some amazing TBTT campaigns taking place in many parts of the world. Here’s a quick glimpse into just some of them:

* In Brazil, G2G are organising their fourth TBTT campaign with local actions in the cities of Cachoeira (Bahia state), Campinas, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, feminist solidarity blogging, translating materials, and lots of collaborative action over ICT platforms.

* In Congo, campaigners are organising talks, discussions and workshops on VAW and ICT, blogging and twittering, and staging a play in schools about the issue.

* OneWorld South East Europe is creating lots of different types of creative content including digital stories and online books to generate knowledge, awareness and a buzz around the issue.

* In Pakistan, 16 local actions are being organised throughout the campaign period, including non-stop twittering and collaborative composition of a song against violence.

* And on Second Life, campaigners are staging protests, engaging in panel discussions and organising exhibitions.

Today is another fantastic day to take action 🙂

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Today’s Action: Vote against violence | Say it with symbols

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Signs and symbols communicate ideas in powerful ways. They are critical elements of movement building, acting as quick and identifiable signifiers of a common vision and set of principles. When you see the icon of a woman symbol with a fist in the middle, it is immediately understood as feminist. When you put it on a t-shirt or spray it on your bag and wear it, you are claiming the identity and standpoint.

Button badges are an effective vehicle for the communication of symbols, and have a long herstory in women’s movements. Attend any gathering, and chances are, you would have picked up a cool button badge or two that calls for support to an issue you believe in. The small size of the button badge means that strong ideas are condensed into a powerful symbol, icon or statement. Which is also why it works. You can wear it anytime and transform a space by catalysing a train of thought or conversation through the strength of its meaning.

Cast your vote to end violence against women today. Click here to “Say it with a button!”

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Day 14 of the 16 Days of Action Campaign

Today is Day 14 of the 16 Days of Action Campaign and here are some of the events taking place:

Women’s Aid Events:

  • 16 Facts for 16 Days email campaign (email 16days@womensaid.ie or phone 01-8684721 to sign up)
  • 16 Books for 16 Days in Chapters
  • Women’s Aid Public Awareness Campaign
  • Women’s Aid Online Advertising Campaign
  • Women’s Aid ‘Support a Friend’ Phone Charm Campaign

Events Around Ireland:

  • Information Stand and Ribbon Display in McDonagh Junction, Kilkenny
  • The ‘Lantern Experience’ in Belmullet
  • March of Hope in Portlaoise
  • Near 90 FM’s “A Woman’s Voice” Broadcast
  • Violence Against Women 365 International Poster Exhibition continues in Waterford
  • Displays at various venues around Mayo
  • Human Rights in Ireland continue their 16 Days Campaign daily blog
  • “In Her Shoes” exhibition in Longford, and also in the Mid-West
  • Information Stands are placed around Sligo and Leitrim
  • Aoibhneas Refuge urges all of us to “Step Out of the Shadows”
  • Clare Women’s Network is running a powerful daily poster campaign
  • Galway Rape Crisis Network is running a daily fact campaign
  • Donegal has a poetry and art display

Cyber Events:

  • Take Back the Tech continue their fabulous campaign with daily actions that are available to everyone! (www.takebackthetech.net)

International Events:

  • Kenya North Rift Women Voices training events in Kenya
  • FemLINKpacific Community Radio Broadcasts in the Figi Islands

There are also lots of messages of support for the Campaign from a variety of important Irish people and organisations, and from some international organisations, explaining why the 16 Days Campaign is so important to each of them. Use any of these events and campaigns as a way to get involved yourself, and share the information with your friends and family!

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Joyce Loughnan, CEO of Focus Ireland, supports the 16 Days Campaign

Domestic violence is a major cause of women and children becoming homeless in Ireland.   Focus Ireland is committed to ensuring that those who experience domestic violence are supported out from being homeless to a place they can call home.  We are also committed to working with others to address the root causes of domestic violence in order to prevent people becoming homeless. Women’s Aid 16 Days Campaign is an important initiative which not only highlights the scale of the issue but focuses the attention of both the public and service providers to do everything in our power to end domestic violence.

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