In­ter­na­tional Day for Elim­i­na­tion of Vi­o­lence against Women to be ob­served to­day

Bhutan Times - - Front Page - Thuk­ten Zangpo

Her Majesty The Gya­lyum San­gay Cho­den Wangchuck will grace the In­ter­na­tional Day for the Elim­i­na­tion of Vi­o­lence againgst Women at Royal Ban­quet Hall, Thim­phu to­day.

To cel­e­brate the day, peo­ple and na­tions across the world comes to­gether to high­light the plight of dis­crim­i­na­tion and abuse against women and girls world­wide.

This year’s theme, “#HearMeToo” is a cam­paign for sur­vivors of sex­ual and do­mes­tic vi­o­lence to come for­ward and share their sto­ries, and for ac­tivists to in­spire oth­ers to fight these is­sues.

Ac­cord­ing to Re­spect, Ed­u­cate, Nur­ture and Em­power Women (RE­NEW), in re­cent years, through cam­paigns such as “#MeToo, #TimesUp and oth­ers, the voices of sur­vivors and ac­tivists have reached aloud that can­not be si­lenced any more.

It fur­ther states that ad­vo­cates un­der­stand that while the names and con­texts may dif­fer across geo­graphic lo­ca­tions, women and girls ev­ery­where are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing ex­ten­sive abuse and their sto­ries need to be brought to light.

To raise aware­ness and mo­bi­lize ef­forts to bring about changes in so­ci­eties in Bhutan, RE­NEW also or­ga­nizes a three day event from Novem­ber 23 to 25 with the theme, “Or­ange your Neigh­bour­hood: #HearMeToo,” through ca­pac­ity build­ing of Com­mu­nity Based Sup­port Sys­tem, Multi-Sec­toral Task Force vol­un­teers from 20 Dzongkhags and Thromdes.

The vol­un­teers also had an op­per­tu­nity to in­ter­act with key stake­hold­ers such as Na­tional Com­mis­sion for Women and Chil­dren (NCWC), Health Min­istry, Royal Bhutan Po­lice and raised con­cerns about their ef­forts and chal­lenges in field and dis­cussed about how part--

ner­ships can be strength­ened. There were in-depth de­lib­er­a­tions on vi­o­lence against chil­dren, vi­o­lence against women & girls, and sex­ual re­pro­duc­tive health & rights is­sues.

The day will also see the launch of the Babesa Project, first Bhutan Pi­lot project on ad­dress­ing vi­o­lence againgst women and chil­dren in col­lob­o­ra­tion with NCWC and the United Na­tions De­vel­op­ment Pro­gramme (UNDP) in Bhutan. The project will en­able a com­mu­nity to lead its own vi­o­lence pre­ven­tion pro­gram.

Ac­cord­ing to press re­lease from UN in Bhutan, end­ing vi­o­lence against women is the stand-alone Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment Goal which strives to `elim­i­nate all forms of vi­o­lence against all women and girls in both pub­lic and pri­vate spheres, in­clud­ing traf­fick­ing and sex­ual and other types of ex­ploita­tion.’

The pi­lot project will be car­ried out in Babesa, Thim­phu, where two groups of resi- dents-, ado­les­cents between 13 to 15 years of age and care­givers of ado­les­cents (such as par­ents, rel­a­tives, and teach­ers) will take part. The project in­ter­ven­tions will start in April 2019 and end in 2020.

Dur­ing this time, the par­tic­i­pants will be at the nexus of get­ting a deeper un­der­stand­ing of the im­por­tance of fam­ily re­la­tion­ships, gen­der equal­ity, cop­ing with stress, and com­mu­nity vi­tal­ity.

Re­cruit­ment booths for fa­cil­i­ta­tors for these in­ter­ven­tions will also be set up at the event. Any Babesa res­i­dent over the age of 21 years with a min­i­mum of high school diploma and in­ter­ested in lead­ing com­mu­nity dis­cus­sions can ap­ply.

“In the words of His Majesty, “this is a world that is shared.” The world calls for equal rights for all peo­ple, the Uni­ver­sal Dec- la­ra­tion of Hu­man Rights laid the foun­da­tion for a world based on equal rights and op­por­tu­ni­ties, for all women, men, girls and boys,” Ger­ald Daly, Res­i­dent Co­or­di­na­tor of United Na­tions in Bhutan said.

“This is a great op­por­tu­nity for those re­sid­ing in Babesa, Thim­phu, to come to­gether as a com­mu­nity in mak­ing a dif­fer­ence in the pre­ven­tion of vi­o­lence against women and chil­dren. For these in­ter­ven­tions to be suc­cess­ful in in­still­ing core val­ues of non-vi­o­lence and happy, safe and eq­ui­table fam­i­lies, we need sound co­op­er­a­tion and co­or­di­na­tion among de­vel­op­ment part­ners within the coun­try,” Kun­zang Lhamo, Di­rec­tor of Na­tional Com­mis­sion for Women and Chil­dren said.

RE­NEW will also launch a comic book “Bum­chu Yeshey Dawa”, a film on Gen­der-Based Vi­o­lence in Bhutan made in col­lab­o­ra­tion with In­ter­na­tional Planned Par­ent­hood Fed­er­a­tion (IPPF) and a ref­er­ence pub­li­ca­tion on “In­te­grated So­cial Mes­sag­ing through Lo­cal Fes­ti­vals” pub­lished in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Drat­shang Lhentshog.

RE­NEW is a civil so­ci­ety or­ga­ni­za­tion (CSO) ded­i­cated to the em­pow­er­ment of women and chil­dren in Bhutan, with spe­cific at­ten­tion to the sur­vivors of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence and sex­ual & gen­der based vi­o­lence. It also pro­vides emer­gency, com­pre­hen­sive and in­te­grated ser­vices to sur­vivors of do­mes­tic/gen­der based vi­o­lence.

The event is be­ing held in joint col­lab­o­ra­tion of RE­NEW with cru­cial part­ners on board such as NCWC, UNDP, UNICEF, UNFPA, UNW, IPPF-SARO and DFAT-Aus­tralian Gov- ern­ment. The even will be at­tended by min­is­ters, gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials, par­lia­men­tar­i­ans, in­ter­na­tional part­ners, UN agen­cies, and CSOs.

“Founded by Her Majesty Gya­lyum San­gay Cho­den Wangchuck, the Good­will Am­bas­sador of the United Na­tions Pop­u­la­tion Fund (UNFPA) in 2004, RE­NEW is com­mit­ted to forg­ing a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of the cir­cum­stances caus­ing do­mes­tic vi­o­lence, sex­ual and gen­der-based vi­o­lence and gen­der inequalities at all lev­els of so­ci­ety. Through our mul­ti­lay­ered ser­vices, we pro­vide a wide range of care and sup­port for women, men and chil­dren im­pacted by such vi­o­lence and inequalities and has its mis­sion: “To bet­ter the lives of sur­vivors of gen­der based vi­o­lence and to in­te­grate them as eco­nom­i­cally and so­cially pro­duc­tive mem­bers of the so­ci­ety.”

Ac­cord­ing to Re­spect, Ed­u­cate, Nur­ture and Em­power Women (RE­NEW), in re­cent years, through cam­paigns such as “#MeToo, #TimesUp and oth­ers, the voices of sur­vivors and ac­tivists have reached aloud that can­not be si­lenced any more.

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