UN: network of men leaders to combat violence against women

24 November 2009 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today marked the 10th anniversary of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women by launching a Network of Men Leaders, a major new initiative bringing together current and former politicians, activists, religious and community figures to combat the global pandemic.
“These men will add their voices to the growing global chorus for action,” he said, noting that 70 per cent of women experience in their lifetime some form of physical or sexual violence from men, the majority from husbands, intimate partners or someone they know.

Resources for the Fund, which gives grants to support innovative regional, local and national initiatives, fall drastically short for meeting a vast demand, with grant requests totalling $857 million received just for 2009. To address this gap, the target of raising an annual $100 million for the Fund by 2015 has been set by the Secretary-General as an objective of his UNiTE campaign.

By 2015, the UNiTE campaign aims to achieve the following five goals worldwide: adopt and enforce national laws to address and punish all forms of violence against women and girls; adopt and implement multi-sectoral national action plans; strengthen data collection on the prevalence of violence against women and girls; increase public awareness and social mobilization; and address sexual violence in conflict.

Members of the new Network include: Juan Carlos Areán, Programme Director of the Family Violence Prevention Fund; Gary Barker, International Centre for Research on Women; Ted Bunch, Co-founder of the National Association of Men and Women Committed to Ending Violence against Women; Brazilian novelist and UN Messenger of Peace Paulo Coelho; and Italian Foreign Minister Franco Fattini.

Others are: former Colombian President and Secretary General of the Organization of American States Cesar Gaviria Trujillo; former Chilean president Ricardo Lagos; Andrew Levack, Co-chair of MenEngageAlliance; Todd Minerson, Executive Director of the White Ribbon Campaign; Emmanuel Ochora of Gulu Youth for Action in Uganda; Dean Peacock, founder of Building Partnerships to End Men’s Violence; Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero; Norwegian Justice and Police Minister Knut Storberget; and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa.

Comments

  1. eyer says:

    or a better exmaple. germany. how did hitler get people to follow his ideals? he educated the young that way, im sure alot of the older generation was horrified at the thigns their young wre bing tuaght ins chool

  2. A name is power so not evan a false one says:

    Evan in the personal hell I lived most of my life,as a child ,teen and young woman ,I always belived that most men must be good. I keapt this belife up evan when just an ember and never quite gave up.
    I am so galde to see my hope was right.
    I just wish women were allowed more freedom to defend themselves,(in my country you go to jail for excessisve force) because a knight is a good thing (And virgos offten belive in being kninghts Mr .CP);).
    But to be relly more Women need to stand up and use thier power to free THEMSLVES,instead of waiteing for men!
    Just saying “shrugs”.

  3. Montega says:

    Women hold up half the sky. — Chinese proverb

    For All Women Registry – Oprah.com
    http://www.oprah.com/forallwomen

    The key to ending poverty and injustice around the world is to educate and empower girls and women. Find out how you can help.

  4. J says:

    I am so glad to hear that men are standing up for women, against violence towards women, I think this is what is needed, for the good, kind, caring men to stand up and say this is not the way to treat women, we should love, care for and respect women.

    Thank you for supporting us in this way and setting standards high up there, were they should be, I believe this way may just get through and set a good example to the new generation.

    Why should we or anyone for that matter be treated in this demoralising way, to be abused by a man mentally and physically is the biggest scar on my life so far, I am still struggling to heal myself after many, many years of being out of that toxic situation…
    Does it ever go away… I find it hard to trust a man anymore, I try, but I think I still put up some barrier I can never seem to give myself totally to a relationship and find that I push them away…

    I just hope that the good men, the real men can help protect women against wasted years thank you again Paulo and others.

    1. Liina says:

      Hi J!

      Do You remember when You were a teenager, and there were certain things that You thought would never change, or certain things that You thought You never would get over? And years later thinking about those things it would maybe even make You laugh at these thoughts. Because if years back we thought as if nothing ever would change, it did anyway.

      Well, at times, life can create these moments, when You feel down. So that after having to go through something drastical, we may feel that way again later in life, as we did back then when we were insecure, afraid, alone… etc. Situations may come that will remind You of these ‘old’ feelings.
      These same kind of challenges may come Your way, many times, which give You mainly two ways how to react towards them: to react(or feel) to it as You have, so far, or to find a new way to react/feel.

      Even if the change isn’t there right now, and even if You even don’t believe if there ever will… life goes on, and we learn, we get over things and we transform. Even if at this point it doesn’t seem so.

      You’ll get over that barrier.
      But it will be on it’s own time. And You will want to get over it… deep down. Worked for me, when I started to look at simple beautiful things in life, like a sunset, the sound of the waves of the sea, children running around, joking, a smile on a person. Etc. Little signs of (pure) love. Try to find a way to make You able to believe. And the life will turn around.

      Love,
      L.
      [kaltura-widget wid="xv0zv4unvo" size="comments" /]

  5. Keith says:

    Thursday night I attended the UK premier of Hurried Steps, a play about the violent abuse of women, afterwards there was a discussion led by the director of the play.

    http://keithpp.wordpress.com/2009/11/27/hurried-steps/

    Listening to the discussion and and going from memory, 90% of abuse was directed at women, 10% at men, one in every four women is abused. I say abuse, as it is not necessarily physical, the abuse can be psychological. As one participant said, bruises heal, broken bones mend, but psychological scars take a very long time to heal. She was placed on medication, to then be raped by her violent partner whilst sedated. She went to the police, the police chose to take no action. Her children are growing up thinking this is normal behaviour, and so the cycle of violence and abuse repeats itself.

    I see Nepalese girls, they are shipped back to Nepal for a forced marriage, but that is political correctness, it is rape by another name. Back they come with new husband. Their life destroyed. It is not easy to escape, because if they do escape, where do they go, family and friends will not help them.

    Many women cannot leave home, not because they do not wish to leave, or lack the courage to leave, what they lack is the money to set up a new home.

    Hostels are available, but are difficult to get into, and when you do, maybe wish you had not. These can be pretty grim places.

    Local council housing departments, social service departments, do everything they can not to help, to deny there is a problem.

    Ten years ago a friend finally found the courage to leave her abusive husband who to put it bluntly was a complete arsehole. I do not think he physically abused her, or if he did there was no obvious signs and she denied he did, but he treated her as a doormat and skivvy. Her life was a misery. She stupidly went back. I cannot throw away eight years of my marriage, she said. She had her whole life ahead of her, what was eight years? Since going back, she is never seen, does not appear to be let out of the house. By all accounts, her husband is still an arsehole.

    It was suggested young men be educated not to behave this way. Maybe. But I would far rather see the young women educated that they do not have to put up with the abuse, that they can walk away.

    Listening to a Member of Parliament today (recorded yesterday), he said that since he had been elected, all the murders bar one in his constituency involved domestic violence. He went on to say, nationally, two women are killed every week.

    1. Thank you for your interesting post.

      Widespread abuse of women is occurring out here in the Middle East. I would just like to comment on a couple of the points you mentioned, with reference to the Middle East.

      “It was suggested young men be educated not to behave this way.”

      This would be a very difficult task here, as most men think that female genital mutilation is desirable and expected. So how would anyone be able to change their attitudes towards women? I think it would take generations, because it is deeply seated in the culture.

      ” But I would far rather see the young women educated that they do not have to put up with the abuse, that they can walk away.”

      This idea would not be effective out here as many women find themselves TRAPPED in violent relationships. For example, jealous husbands often do not give money to their wives so that they are not able to leave the home. If they talk to a family member then the violence increases…etc Even if they could arrest the husband, his family and friends would bribe the judges and he would be set free to continue as before. If she escaped, she could be killed or if not her, one of her family members. So as you can see this is a very complex issue and it would not be easy for a woman to just “walk away”.

      Thank you…

  6. Liina.L says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZaF4u3NfTtM
    Christian Kane
    Mary Can You Come Outside

    Mary and a man live in a two-bedroom beside me
    Used to see her in the hall at night
    Passed her on the street
    But lately she ain’t comin’ around no more
    She hides indoors
    Afraid of what the world might say if they knew
    What I know

    Mary, can you come outside?
    Take a walk with me in the sunshine
    Maybe then you could tell me why
    And all in all you seem to have it all
    So why do you cry?
    I hear you through the walls at night
    Mary, can you come outside?

    It’s 2AM and the battle starts again
    I pray for your innocence in a war you’ll never win
    Should I just sit here on these hands of mine
    One more time
    Or should I use them on him
    The way he does on you?

    Mary, can you come outside?
    Take a walk with me in the moonlight
    Maybe then you could tell me why
    And all in all you seem to have it all
    So why do you cry?
    I hear you through the walls at night
    Mary, can you come outside?

    Should I just sit here on these hands of mine
    One more time?
    Or should I use them on him
    The way he does on you?

    Mary, can you come outside?
    Take a walk with me in the moonlight
    Maybe then you could tell me why
    And all in all you seem to have it all
    So why do you cry?
    I hear you through the walls at night

    Oh Mary, can you come outside?
    Take a walk, take a walk with me tonight
    And maybe then you could tell me why
    Mary, can you come outside?
    Sweet Mary can you come outside?