Empowering Girls and Women: the role of Health and Education in Eliminating Violence Against Women

On 25 November 2016, to celebrate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, the Commonwealth Secretariat hosted a short film screening of Nancy A One Girl Revolution followed by a panel discussion.

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The film is an educational tool for distribution within communities in order to help shift social norms through story, dialogue and opinion changers. It is based on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) focusing on community-led change and through the education and empowerment of girls.
The panel will bring together people and organisations involved in empowering girls and women, in order to examine how best to scale up collaborative action and empower young women.

                                                          Key discussion points for the panel
  • The personal and multiple impacts of Gender Based Violence and a story of empowerment (referenced in Nancy’s story).
  • There is accumulating evidence on what we can do to prevent Gender-Based Violence (outlined in the DFID presentation).
  • Education plays an important role in empowering girls and lifting their ambitions and schools can play a specific role in preventive skills.
  • Health interventions help to build resilience and protective skills as well as early detection.
  • To scale up action we need to promote multi-sector policy responses including addressing inequalities and strengthening governance.
  • We can all play a role working together for collaborative action and engaging communities in a common vision that empowers girls and women to eliminate Gender-Based Violence and enable wider development outcomes.
Anticipated Outcomes
  • The UK launch of the ‘Commonwealth Judicial Bench Book On Violence Against Women in East Africa’.
  • Launch of the Commonwealth Policy Brief: ‘Empowering Girls, Education and Multi-Sector Policy to Combat Female Genital Mutilation’.
  • To mark the end of the ‘16 Days of Activism to End Violence Against Women’  a Commonwealth Award for eliminating Gender-Based Violence will be launched.
  • Announcement of a Commonwealth month for Empowering Girls and Women in March 2017, which will include a range of community activities across the Commonwealth that aim to end Gender-Based Violence and enable Sustainable Development.
  • Outlining of ‘The prevention of all forms of Violence’, a Public Health Plan of Action for the Commonwealth, which will be presented to Commonwealth Health Ministers in May 2017.
  • Collaborative action to scale up Multi-Sector country policy and legislation to end Gender-Based Violence.

Below you can see a trailer for the film Nancy A One Girl Revolution which was screened at the event.

“A key priority for my term as Secretary-General is to bring about the end of Gender-Based Violence across the Commonwealth” Baroness Patricia Scotland.

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