Areas of Focus

Areas of Focus

GWI’s advocacy focus 2013-2016

Education is a cross-cutting issue that can apply to many areas. GWI’s advocacy priorities reflect the need for action in many areas that touch girls’ and women’s lives, with a view to providing access to higher and continuing education and human rights education throughout.

 

Safe access to education

Counter all forms of violence at school and ensure the security of all those at risk, with particular concern for the safety of young girls and teenagers. Develop awareness of the need to counter all forms of violence, ranging from bullying to sexual aggression and drug addiction, and to include education for peace in the programmes of all concerned ministries. Urge governments to take effective action to support girls and women who are seeking, attending and promoting education at all levels amongst all countries where educational access is low, unsafe and/or at risk.

 

Education for indigenous peoples

Provide designated educational funding that includes resources for Early Childhood Education, school infrastructure, equipment, books, information technology, skills development and a core approved curriculum which is culturally sensitive. Index such funding to inflation and adjust it annually for population increase. Urge national, provincial, state, territorial and indigenous governments to work together to create a system of accountable, funded and quality education.

 

Promoting violence-free family life

Human rights education should become a priority within all school curricula with particular emphasis on family violence as an abuse of human rights. Equality between women and men is a key element in the prevention of violence against women and girls. Urge governments and private institutions to fund research to assist authorities in recognizing all forms of domestic violence.

 

Child marriage

Promote the protection of girls and make the case of child brides public in order to educate families about the negative consequences for child brides so as to protect the human rights of girls. Seek strong support from governments and the judiciary, including appropriate legislation and publicity of positive judicial sentences, to increase awareness of early and forced marriage of girls and its consequent damaging effects.

 

Violence directed against women

Recognise as an instrumental model the value of the Convention of the Council of Europe in preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence in their countries. Encourage their respective governments if relevant to ratify or accede to this Convention; Review criminal law so that it complies with international law to ascertain that all forms of domestic violence are duly addressed and persons acting against the laws are punished. Advocate for social and legal recognition that rape is possible within marriage, and that, if committed, it constitutes a criminal offence.

 

Prostitution

Enact legislation which: (a) prohibits the purchasing of sexual services wherever it occurs (including print media, internet and other technological tools); (b) imposes criminal sanctions on the purchasers of sexual services; and (c) imposes no criminal sanctions on prostituted persons. Work at providing for essential support services and funding to enable prostituted persons to earn a living free from prostitution.

 

Trafficking in persons

Address the primary causes that contribute to the practice. Ensure that governments have signed and ratified the United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons (2003). Monitor the status of their government’s implementation of the Protocol and take appropriate action where needed. End all forms of trafficking by introducing the concept of gender sensitivity in all circumstances that imply human trafficking. Increase knowledge on trafficking, disseminate this widely and, when appropriate, ensure that combatting trafficking is a priority on all political agendas, and urge their governments to appoint an independent national rapporteur on trafficking.

 

Incest

Protect young girls and boys from all aspects of domestic violence and abuse. Recognize incest as a criminal form of domestic violence. Increase awareness of incest, including appropriate legislation and publicity of judicial sentences.

 

Globalisation and its effects in developing countries

Globalisation in its present form has exacerbated the inequalities and insecurities of women and girls worldwide, particularly in developing countries. Immediate actions are needed to reduce and ameliorate the “feminisation of poverty” that has resulted from the policies of globalisation. GWI opposes the most harmful of World Bank (WB) loan conditions, International Monetary Funds (IMF) policy advice and World Trade Organization (WTO) agreements. GWI endorses the outcome of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD XIII) in Doha, Qatar, supporting “development-centred” globalisation rather than finance-centred globalisation, utilising all the resources at its disposal to emphasize its endorsement of the “Doha Mandate of 2012.”

 

Unarmed civilian peacekeeping

Raise awareness about non-violent measures referred to as Unarmed Civilian Peacekeeping (UCP) for the protection of women and children located in battle-prone areas of the world. Urge governments to utilize UCP, as well as the armed military, as a viable national defence strategy.

 

Non-state actor torture

Urge governments to exercise due diligence by initiating into their respective laws, policies and practices all appropriate measures to ensure that no person, especially a woman or a child, is subjected to torture by non-state actors. Respect the priority of gender-sensitive frameworks on the United Nations agendas, given that women and girls are disproportionally affected by extreme forms of violence and torture by non-state actors. Uphold commitments to United Nations human rights instruments governments have ratified that pertain to non-state actor torture.

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