Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Responding to the impact of attitudes and norms on women’s experiences of violence




Responding to the impact of attitudes and norms on women’s  experiences of violence
A continuous effort is needed to empower women to recognize that violence against them is a violation of their rights and to increase gender equality in general. The survey data suggests that beliefs in female subservience, spousal obedience, victim blaming and silence surrounding violence against women continue to persist in the area covered by the survey and that those women who hold these beliefs are more likely to say they have experienced violence. Since other research has shown that these views are also held by men, campaigns on, and responses to, violence against women and girls must take these attitudes and norms into account, they must target society as a whole, and they must also be directed at men and boys.

 Women who agree with statements on female subservience, spousal obedience, victim blaming and silence surrounding violence are more likely to say they have experienced sexual harassment, non-partner physical and/or sexual violence, and intimate partner physical and/or sexual violence. For example:

– Women who agree that domestic violence is a private matter are almost twice as likely to say they have experienced current partner physical violence than those who disagree (18% versus 10% respectively). – Women who think that their friends would agree that it is a wife’s obligation to have sex with her husband even if she does not feel like it are also more likely to say they have experienced violence at the hands of their current partner than those who disagree (with physical violence indicated by 18% of those agreeing and 12% of those disagreeing and sexual violence by 8% and 3% respectively).  – Women who agree that violence is often provoked by the victim or that women exaggerate claims of abuse or rape are generally more likely to say they have experienced all forms of violence.

 Women participating in the qualitative research thought that such attitudes were changing, and findings from the quantitative survey show that younger women think their friends are less likely to adhere to norms of female subservience  and are also less likely to place responsibility for violence on the victim rather than the perpetrator.


Action points 

Participating States 
Overarching efforts are needed to change gender stereotypes, prejudices  and biases, including:
 Mainstream information about gender equality and violence against women and girls in the education system, including by incorporating it into curricula (from kindergarten to university) and by training teachers and other education professionals.
 Implement awareness-raising campaigns for men and women on the importance of gender equality. Interventions should target society as a whole by involving men and boys. They should address, in particular, sexual violence in intimate relationships and sexual harassment. Campaigns and interventions should use the survey data and other evidence to be tailored to different groups in society.
 Improve the co-ordination of both prevention and support efforts (including with international partners), recognizing how they are interconnected, and allocate resources to address the root causes of violence against women.
 Use the data from the OSCE survey to calculate the EIGE Gender Equality Index in order to monitor changes in gender attitudes and behaviour.

OSCE executive structures
 Collect lessons learned and good practices on changing attitudes that condone violence against women and on addressing the root causes, including for specific target groups like legal professionals, police, parliamentarians and policymakers.
 Develop innovative materials for various target groups (with a focus on police and judiciary) to change attitudes of individuals, organizations and society at large.
 Share information and good practices on preventing violence against women  in the OSCE’s main areas of work through seminars, round tables and  peer-to-peer learning.
 Participate in interagency efforts at the national and regional level to promote gender equality and combat violence against women and girls.
 Support gender ethics training for the media with the aim of raising awareness among participating States of the need to address discriminatory and harmful stereotypes through the media.
 Work with education systems to establish curricula on gender equality in schools and universities
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Sunday, July 14, 2019

Action points responding to all forms of violence against women and girls


Participating States
 Update and implement national legal frameworks to prevent and address in a holistic manner all forms of violence against women and girls, including online violence, sexual harassment, stalking and psychological violence in full compliance with CEDAW and its General Recommendations Nos. 19 and 35 and with the Istanbul Convention’s standards and norms.
 Participating States covered by the survey have to improve the collection, analysis and use of data for the purposes of evidence-based policy-making. Improving data quality and accessibility have to be prioritized and linked with commitments on the part of participating States to monitor the progress of SDG 5 and SDG 16 by using internationally agreed comparable data disaggregated by sex, age, rural/urban group. This enables to review progress and challenges international commitments for ending violence against women and girls.
 Ensure the regular review and monitoring of recently introduced laws and policies on combating violence against women, e.g., women who seek help should be surveyed on a regular basis to determine their level of satisfaction with the assistance they received.
 Ensure engagement of national human rights institutions to promote gender equality and human rights of women and girls, and ensure transparent monitoring of the support provided to victims of violence.
 Provide the necessary resources and support for national mechanisms and relevant ministries for gender equality, so that they are able to conduct their key role in the implementation and monitoring of the policy and legal frameworks.
 Prevention of violence and response measures and policies should accommodate the needs of disadvantaged groups of women and girls.
 Provide specific support for (former) soldiers and their families.
 Consider addressing heavy alcohol use as a compounding factor to violence against women and girls.
 Share examples and best practices of programmes that address men of all ages, including programmes that deal with online violence.

OSCE executive structures
 Carry out a comparative study (meta study) based on existing studies by UN agencies and EU institutions on the costs of violence against women and the allocated budgets for prevention and response.
 Integrate the topic of preventing and combating VAWG and the data from the survey into all OSCE projects with security sector actors.
 Develop tailor-made approaches to accommodate the needs and challenges of disadvantaged groups of women in OSCE projects and activities.
 Research, document and share good practices in the implementation of legal and policy frameworks, as well as effective implementation plans to combat all forms of violence, including online violence against women and girls in the OSCE region.



https://www.osce.org/secretariat/413237?download=true
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Friday, July 12, 2019

Nature and scale of intimate partner violence as the most common form of violence against women


Increased focus on the implementation of existing legislation and prevention and protection measures is required. To effectively respond, institutions must treat intimate partner violence as a public, rather than private, matter and take psychological violence seriously. The more severe nature of violence at the hands of previous partners and the fact that women continue to experience violence at the hands of their former partners even after the relationship has ended suggest a need for better protection of victims.
 Of women who are or have been in a relationship, 23% have experienced physical and/or sexual violence at the hands of an intimate partner, and 7% indicate that this occurred in the 12 months prior to the survey. Among those women aged 18–49 who have ever had a partner, 8% say they experienced intimate physical and/or sexual violence in the 12 months prior to the survey
 Of women (aged 18–74) who are or have been in a relationship, 20% were subjected to physical, sexual or psychological violence by a current or previous intimate partner in the 12 months prior to the survey (SDG Indicator 5.2.1) ç
 Among those women who have ever had a partner and who indicate that they have experienced physical violence, two-thirds say that they have experienced two of more different forms of physical violence, including 32% who say they have experienced four or more.
 For many women who have experienced various forms of intimate partner physical and/or sexual violence, these are not isolated experiences. For sexual violence and most types of physical violence, including those that might be considered more serious, more than half of those who have had such an experience say this has happened more than once.
  Violence in relationships happens on a continuum. Rather than being an isolated incident, it tends to happen more than once over a period of time. Of those women who say they experienced the first incident of physical and/or sexual violence at the hands of their current partner five or more years ago, 22% experienced the most recent incident in the 12 months prior to the survey.
 Of women and girls who had a previous partner, 25% have experienced physical and/or sexual violence at the hands of a previous partner. Three-quarters of those who identified a most serious incident of violence at the hands of their previous partner say that the violence experienced was one of the reasons, if not the main reason, why the relationship ended.

Psychological violence is the most widespread form of intimate partner violence reported in the survey. The qualitative research confirms that psychological violence is considered so common in the area covered by the survey that it is a norm. Multiple and repetitive forms of psychological violence need to be recognized as undermining women’s autonomy and wellbeing, and police and other services should be trained to recognize and understand the nature and impact of psychological violence.
 Sixty per cent of women who are or have been in a relationship have experienced psychological violence committed by an intimate partner.
 Overall, 48% of women who have ever had a partner have experienced controlling behaviours on the part of a current or previous partner, with partners insisting on knowing where they were going (beyond general concern) or becoming suspicious that they had been unfaithful the most common of these behaviours (each experienced by 31%).
 Around two in five women have experienced abusive behaviours. This includes over one-third of respondents who say they have been belittled or humiliated in private (36%) and around one in five women who indicate that their partners have scared them on purpose (23%) or belittled or humiliated them in public (21%).
 Economic violence has been experienced by nearly one in five women (19%).
 Seven per cent of women have experienced blackmail involving their children, which includes actions such as threatening to take their children away, threatening to hurt their children, hurting their children or making threats concerning the custody of their children (previous partner only).

Sexual violence in relationships including marital rape41 is a reality in the surveyed area. Four per cent of women, or approximately 810,000 women, say they have been raped by their partners. This suggests that laws and the implementation thereof should treat rape within marriage the same as rape by a non-partner.
 The overall lifetime prevalence of intimate partner sexual violence is 7%, including 4% of women who have been raped by their partner.   In the qualitative research, women discussed how sex within marriage was often expected, and indeed the survey data shows that a significant minority believe that non-consensual sex between partners can be justified (17%), which may indicate that many women do not disclose when this form of violence happens.

The characteristics and behaviour of perpetrators also need to be taken into consideration as possible risk factors contributing to intimate partner violence. If practitioners recognize these factors, they can be alerted to them as a possible  warning sign of violence.
 Women whose current partner drinks on a weekly (19%) or daily basis (37%) are more likely to have experienced intimate partner violence in the 12 months prior to the survey (compared to 5% of those whose partner rarely drinks). Indeed, 67% of current partners and 71% of previous partners were drunk and/or under the influence of drugs at the time of the incident reported as the most serious.
 Women whose current partner is not working, whether due to unemployment (17%), because of illness or disability (35%), or retirement (17%), are more likely to have experienced intimate partner physical and/or sexual violence in their lifetime compared with 14% of all surveyed women in a current relationship. The same holds true for the prevalence in the 12 months prior to the survey.  Women whose current partner has fought in an armed conflict are more likely to experience physical and sexual violence at the hands of their current intimate partner both in their lifetime (19% versus 14% respectively) and in the 12 months prior to the survey (9% versus 6% respectively) compared with those whose partners have not fought in an armed conflict.

https://www.osce.org/secretariat/413237?download=true
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Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Factors contributing to a higher risk of violence, sexual harassment and stalking



The survey clearly finds that all women, regardless of their economic or social status, can experience violence, but some groups of women are at a higher risk. These risk factors include being younger, being a refugee or internally displaced, having a disability, being poor, being economically dependent or having children. Institutions and service providers should take risk factors into account, including by making an effort to remove barriers that prevent women from seeking support. 
 Younger women aged 18–29 are most likely to have been stalked since the age of 15, and 5% of them say they had a recent experience. Younger women tend to have experiences of nearly all forms of sexual harassment in higher proportions compared with their older counterparts (54% of 18–29 year olds have experienced sexual harassment compared to 42% of those aged 30 or older), in particular in relation to cyber-harassment, i.e., via mobile and Internet technology. 
 The prevalence of intimate partner physical and/or sexual violence in the 12 months prior to the survey is highest among those aged 18–29 (10%) and  those aged 40–49 (9%). 
 Since the age of 15, the prevalence of any physical and/or sexual violence is highest among those aged 40–49 (35% compared to 31% of all surveyed women). 
 Lifetime prevalence of any physical and/or sexual violence among women who consider themselves to have a disability (47%) and among those who say they are refugees or internally displaced (38%) is much higher than the average of all surveyed women (31%). 
 Women who have children at home are more likely to have experienced intimate partner physical and/or sexual violence than women who do not have children at home, both in their lifetime (24% versus 22% respectively) and in the 12 months prior to the survey (8% versus 5% respectively). 
 Women doing unpaid work in a family business are more likely to have experienced both intimate partner physical and/or sexual violence (33% versus 23% on average) and non-partner physical and/or sexual violence (38%) since the age of 15. The prevalence of intimate partner physical and sexual violence is also higher among those who are not working due to illness or disability (32%). Both of these groups of women are more likely to have experienced intimate partner physical and/or sexual violence in the 12 months prior to the survey as well as intimate partner psychological violence. 
 Women who face extreme income deprivation40 were more likely to experience any form of violence in the 12 months prior to the survey (42% compared to 27% of women who are not financially deprived). 
 Women who survived physical, sexual or psychological violence in childhood are more likely to experience it in adult life. Among those women who experienced childhood violence, nearly all of them (93%) say they have had some experience of violence, sexual harassment or stalking as adults, compared with 65% of women who did not experience some form of violence in childhood. 

https://www.osce.org/secretariat/413237?download=true
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Monday, July 8, 2019

Violence against women and girls



The scale of violence against women and girls in the area covered by the survey calls for enhanced efforts to implement legislation and improve or develop action plans that will address all forms of violence experienced by women and girls, including women from disadvantaged groups and minorities.

13.1.1: Prevalence of all forms of violence against women and girls

Seventy per cent of women in the survey, which translates into an estimated 16 million women, disclose that they have experienced some form of violence since the age of 15, and 31% of women say they experienced some form of violence in the 12 months prior to the survey.
 Thirty-one per cent of women, or an estimated 7 million, have experienced physical and/or sexual violence since the age of 15 at the hands of a partner or non-partner, and 10% experienced such violence in the 12 months prior to the survey.
 Nineteen per cent of women and girls have experienced physical and/or sexual violence at the hands of a non-partner since the age of 15. Five per cent of women and girls experienced this in the 12 months prior to the survey, and 0.8% of women and girls (aged 18–74) were subjected to sexual violence by a non-partner in the 12 months prior to the survey (SDG Indicator 5.2.2).
 Twenty-three per cent of women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence at the hands of an intimate partner since the age of 15.
 Sixty per cent of women have experienced psychological violence committed by an intimate partner since the age of 15.
 Almost half of women have experienced at least one form of sexual harassment since they were 15 years old, and 16% experienced this in the 12 months prior to the survey, which means that an estimated 4 million women experienced some form of sexual harassment in the year leading up to the survey.   Ten per cent of women have experienced stalking at some point since they were 15 years old, and 2% were stalked in the 12 months prior to the survey.
 Of those with children or who have had children, 31% say children living with them are aware of violent incidents involving their current partner, which rises to 36% in the case of violence at the hands of a previous partner.
 Twenty-one per cent of women experienced physical, sexual or psychological violence during their childhood (up to the age of 15).
 Women identified as conflict-affected were asked whether or not any of their experiences of physical or sexual violence were connected with armed conflict. Among those who have experienced non-partner physical or sexual violence (including threats thereof), 26% say that some of their experiences were related to conflict, rising to 34% when asked about their most serious incident.39

Perpetrators of non-partner physical and sexual violence

 In relation to non-partner physical violence, a relative or family member of the victim (26%) is identified as the perpetrator most often, followed by a friend, acquaintance, neighbour (24%) or someone else the victim knew but did not specify from the list of perpetrator types (23%). Nearly one in five (18%) say the perpetrator was someone they did not know.
 While 23% of women who say they have experienced non-partner sexual violence identify the perpetrator as a stranger, the same proportion say the perpetrator was a friend, acquaintance or neighbour, and 22% say that it was someone else they knew but that they did not wish to specify further from the list of categories provided. Fewer women say that incidents of non-partner sexual violence are committed by a relative or family member (3%) or by a relative or family member of their partner (6%).


https://www.osce.org/secretariat/413237?download=true
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Friday, July 5, 2019

Tanggol Bayi



Tanggol Bayi is an association of women human rights defenders in The Philippines dedicated to advance women's rights as human rights.
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Tuesday, June 25, 2019

HUMAN RIGHTS IN LEBANON


Lebanon hosted 1.5 million refugees from Syria, but kept its border closed to people fleeing the ongoing conflict in neighbouring Syria. It also hosted tens of thousands of other refugees, most of them long-term Palestinian refugees who continued to face discriminatory laws that excluded them from accessing certain services and jobs. The penal code continued to discriminate against women in law and practice. Police harassed and abused lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people, especially in refugee and migrant communities.
Peaceful activists and others were detained for social media posts that criticized political, religious or economic authorities. Death sentences were passed; there were no executions. A law was passed to create a national commission to investigate the whereabouts of thousands of persons who went missing or were forcibly disappeared during the 19751990 armed conflict in Lebanon.

BACKGROUND
On 6 May, Lebanon held long-awaited parliamentary elections initially scheduled for 2013; a proportional representation system was applied for the first time. On 24 May, the new parliament named Saad Hariri to serve a third term as prime minister. He was
not able to form a government before the year’s end due to political feuds.
In April, a conference held in the French capital, Paris, to support Lebanon’s development and reform pledged the country an aid package worth over US$11 billion, comprising US$10.2 billion in loans and US$860 million in grants.
In September, parliament held an exceptional session and passed 15 of 28 draft laws that had been put to vote. Most related to the aid package, but parliament also ratified the Arms Trade Treaty and approved a controversial waste management law despite serious concerns about its implications for people’s health and the environment. Access to essential services, including electricity and water, remained severely curtailed across the country.

REFUGEES AND ASYLUM-SEEKERS
Lebanon hosted 1.5 million Syrian refugees, including 950,334 registered with UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, according to update it issued on 30 November. A government decision of May 2015 continued to bar UNHCR from registering newly arrived refugees. Refugees continued to return to Syria throughout 2018 either spontaneously or in groups organized by the Lebanese General Security. UNHCR verified through interviews at its reception centres that, as of 30 November, 4,996 individuals had returned on their own to Syria in 2018, but acknowledged that this number did not reflect the total number of spontaneous returns. It said on 17 December that, so far that year, it had been present at over 70 group returns facilitated by the General Security, involving a total of 9,895 people.
In August, the government facilitated birth registration for Syrian refugees by waiving a requirement that children born in Lebanon between January 2011 and February 2018 had to be registered within a year of birth and that parents had to obtain court documents to register the children. The move was expected to enable more than 50,000 unregistered Syrian children to acquire the necessary documents.
Syrian refugees continued to face financial and administrative difficulties in obtaining or renewing residency permits, exposing them to a constant risk of arbitrary arrest, detention and forcible return to Syria. They also continued to face severe economic hardship.
In January, 15 Syrians – children, women and men – froze to death near the Masnaa border crossing in eastern Lebanon as they were attempting to enter the country irregularly.
Lebanon also hosted tens of thousands of other refugees, most of them long-term Palestinian refugees. Palestinian refugees remained subject to discriminatory laws that exclude them from owning or inheriting property, accessing public education and health services, and working in at least 36 professions. At least 3,000 Palestinian refugees who do not hold official identity documents faced further restrictions, denying them the right to register births, marriages and deaths.

TORTURE AND OTHER ILLTREATMENT
Since Lebanon passed an anti-torture law in September 2017, the National Human Rights Institute, which is mandated to oversee the law’s implementation, among other tasks, remained inactive. The government failed to allocate it an independent budget or trigger the process for nominating the five members needed to form the National Preventive Mechanism against torture.
In March, a military court acquitted actor Ziad Itani of charges of spying for Israel, and released him. He had spent three and a half months in unlawful detention. The court also charged the former head of the Internal Security Forces’ cybercrimes bureau of fabricating evidence against the actor and falsely accusing him. Ziad Itani reported that he had been tortured in detention; he said that men in civilian clothes had beaten him, tied him in a stress position, hung him by his wrists, kicked him in the face, threatened to rape him, and threatened to hurt and prosecute his family. The authorities failed to investigate the allegations.

WOMEN’S RIGHTS
legislation, including the penal code and personal status codes, continued to discriminate against women.

Women’s rights organizations reported that provisions of the penal code that criminalized adultery were discriminatory in practice, with more women being charged under the law than men. They also reported that the law was sometimes used by husbands and other male family members to seek revenge.
Reproductive health services specifically needed by women, such as those relating to abortion, were still criminalized. In practice, abortions were obtained generally through medication and in private clinics. However, the high cost of abortions and the lack of information about them remained barriers to women in vulnerable situations, particularly refugee and migrant women.
Civil society organizations reported that police continued to harass and detain sex workers, even though the selling of
sex is not illegal. A health NGO, SIDC (Soins Infirmiers et Développement Communautaire), reported that, in a survey of 50 women engaging in transactional sex, 45 claimed discrimination or abuse in public health care settings and 10 reported that they had faced physical abuse in detention centres or police stations.
Women migrant workers continued to suffer discriminatory practices under the kafala (sponsorship) system restricting their rights to freedom of movement, education and health, including sexual and reproductive health.

RIGHTS OF LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, TRANSGENDER AND INTERSEX PEOPLE According to reports, police continued to harass and abuse LGBTI people, especially in refugee and migrant communities, sometimes resorting to Article 534 of the penal code, which criminalizes “sexual intercourse contrary to nature”.
In May, the Internal Security Forces (ISF) banned several activities organized by Beirut Pride to mark the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia, and detained the organizer overnight. The ISF cited security concerns following threats by an Islamist group.
In October, the General Security (GS) attempted to shut down a conference of LGBTI activists from the Middle East and North Africa region, organized by the Arab Foundation for Freedom and Equality (AFE). After failing to make the AFE’s executive director sign a pledge to cancel all conference activities, GS officers ordered the hotel to shut down the conference. The GS did not explain their concerns, although the action followed threats by an Islamist group.
In July, a district court of appeal ruled that same-sex consensual sex was not a criminal offence.

FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
Different security forces arrested and interrogated several human rights defenders, peaceful political activists and other individuals for social media posts criticizing political, religious or economic authorities. Those targeted had their legal rights violated, including the right to a lawyer. In the course of the interrogations, security officers revealed that they had accessed some of their personal data, such as messages they had sent and received on messaging services and transcripts of phone calls they had made. Most were freed without charge after a short period of detention, but several of the activists arrested were blackmailed into signing pledges that they would refrain from certain activities as a precondition for their release.

RIGHT TO HOUSING
In February, the Central Bank revealed that several banks had nearly exhausted their quota of stimulus funds allocated
for the entire year. As a result, the subsidized loan programme was frozen and there were serious doubts about its future and that of the Public Corporation for Housing, the only official body managing the right to housing for middle- and low-income citizens.
In September, parliament approved an exceptional allocation of US$66 million to finance housing loans, and gave the government six months to draft a sustainable housing policy.

ENFORCED DISAPPEARANCES AND ABDUCTIONS
In November, parliament passed a law creating a national commission to investigate the whereabouts of thousands of persons who went missing or were forcibly disappeared during
the 1975-1990 armed conflict in Lebanon. Associations of families of the victims concerned, along with partner organizations, had campaigned for such a development for over three decades.

INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE
In September, the closing arguments concluded in Prosecutor v. Ayyash et al., the case relating to the 14 February 2005 attack which killed 22 individuals, including former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, and injured 226 others. At the end of the year, the judges had yet to issue their verdict.

DEATH PENALTY
Courts continued to hand down death sentences; no executions were carried out.


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