Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


UN calls for community backing for no violence against women

Media release November 16, 2012

UN calls for community backing for no violence against women and children campaign

With the global campaign “16 days of Activism against Gender Violence” about to begin on November 25, a UN representative says statistics from many countries still paint a troubling picture of violence in our societies.

Roberta Clarke, Regional Director for the UN Women Asia and Pacific Regional Office, told the 10th annual World Conference of the International Ombudsman Institute in Wellington that the reported statistics of women who have been victims of domestic violence range from 30% in New Zealand, 33% in Costa Rica, 39% in Turkey and 49% in Bangladesh.

“It is a worldwide issue,” she says. “And women’s organisations have been saying for a long time that violence against women cuts across culture, ethnicity, religion, income and status.”

Roberta Clarke has called on communities to back the campaign which calls for zero tolerance to violence against women.

“It is an important aspiration to build a culture of zero tolerance. We know we may not get to zero incidents of violence against women and children, but what we want is to get to a culture where we understand that there is something manifestly terrible about the violation and recognise that individuals, communities and the state all have a duty to prevent and respond effectively.”

She says communities have to build up accountability.

“Accountability begins with the individual - you control yourself and what you tolerate in your family and community and you say no to violence. But the state also has a role in protecting and preventing violence against women through laws, policies and in modelling zero tolerance for all forms of violence against women.

“Accountability is about ensuring that the state organisations who have the authority to respond - police, judiciary, social workers or health workers - do so effectively, that they do not look away from it saying that’s private or it is too difficult to think about or its cultural. There is no looking away from violence against women. Everyone has a responsibility to act in the context of their mandate.”

Roberta Clarke says over the last twenty years a lot of work has been done to make the issue visible, to reform laws, develop services to respond to the needs of victims/survivors and their families, to build the capacity of the justice sector particularly police, judiciary and prosecutors and to start programmes for perpetrators. All of which can have the effect of transforming culture towards zero tolerance.

“There is a lot more understanding of the issue and the range of responses required to ensure women’s rights to lives free of violence. Over 120 countries have enacted domestic violence legislation. Yet, the numbers appears not to be going down.”

She says this it probably reflects both increased reporting and increased societal violence which is shown through the data on homicides.

“Monitoring is difficult because data collection is deficient. Firstly, there is under-reporting as many women do not go to the police for a number of reasons – embarrassment, mistrust, fear. Often, police collect information just on perpetration and do not record the relationship between the victim and the perpetrator and so you cannot get a sense of what is the real incidence of domestic violence. Courts collect record for their purposes and health sector collects record for theirs purposes but in many countries it is difficult to put together to come up with a true prevalence.”

Roberta Clarke told the meeting of Ombudsman that they have an important part to play in combating violence against women and children.

“Ombudsmen have a significant platform. They are authoritative, credible, respected and they are understood and accepted to be monitors of maladministration, unfairness or arbitrariness in all the countries where they exist. They can provide another avenue for women to get redress.

“We do know that violence against women is underreported, particularly sexual offences, and we do also have a sense that this is linked to the mistrust of police services. The ombudsman can play a major part by working with police units to better understand how their responses are perceived and experienced by complainants and to make suggestions for corrective action.”

She says the distressing story globally is that there is a tremendous attrition between the number of assaults on women to the number of reports made to police, to the investigations, charges, prosecutions and convictions.

“When you have that attrition you are talking about impunity and most rape going unpunished. We think ombudsmen can be one of the forces that help us think about why this impunity exists, why some offences matter than others and what can we do to fix it, to ensure women’s access to justice.”

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

2040 Target And Lower Standards: “Swimmable” Rivers Five Times More Likely To Make You Sick

Forest & Bird has condemned the government’s new water quality standards, warning New Zealanders that they lock in current levels of water pollution and allow for a 5-fold increase in the chance of getting sick from swimming in a river.

“Despite an explicit assurance from Minister Smith that the new water standards would provide for human and ecosystem health, he has failed to deliver on either of these things,” says Forest & Bird CEO Kevin Hague. More>>

ALSO:

 
 

Immigration: Clampdown On Rogue Employers Good First Step

The Human Trafficking Research Coalition is pleased at the new clampdown on rouge employers who exploit migrants announced by Minister Woodhouse this morning, and believes this is a step in the right direction. More>>

ALSO:

Mayor: 750 New Social And Affordable Homes For Wellington (Over A Decade)

The next stage of Wellington’s Housing Upgrade Programme will see at least 750 new units of social and affordable housing built over the next decade, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>

ALSO:

22/2: Christchurch Quake Memorial Unveiled

A city, a region, a nation and an international community impacted by the Canterbury Earthquakes will come together to mark the sixth anniversary of the deadly quake and dedicate Oi Manawa Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial. More>>

ALSO:


November Quakes:

Gordon Campbell: On The Mana-Maori Party Deal

If the self-interest involved wasn’t so blatant, the electorate deal between the Maori Party and Hone Harawira would be kind of poignant. It’s a bit like seeing the remaining members of Guns’n’Roses or the Eagles back on the road touring the nostalgia circuit… playing all the old hits of Maori unity and kaupapa Maori politics. More>>

ALSO:

Private Provision: First Social Bond To Focus On Mental Health

New Zealand’s first social bond will help around 1700 people with mental illness into work, Finance Minister Steven Joyce and Social Investment Minister Amy Adams say. More>>

ALSO:

Immigration: Short Reprieve For Nine Indian Students

A temporary hold on deportations of nine Indian students is a step in the right direction but the Government urgently needs to implement safeguards to stop further injustices to more international students, the Green Party says. More>>

EARLIER:


Megaupload Case: High Court Rules Dotcom, Co-Accused Eligible For Extradion

Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom and his three co-accused are eligible for extradition to the United States, New Zealand's High Court ruled... Justice Murray Gilbert upheld a decision by the District Court that there were grounds for Dotcom, Mathias Ortmann, Bram van der Kolk and Finn Batato to be extradited. More>>

ALSO:

PREVIOUSLY:

Port Hills Fire: Midday Update, Monday 20 February

• 9 homes destroyed
• 2 homes with partial damage. Damage includes things like cracked windows, heat damage.
• 3 properties with damage to other external structures e.g sheds or outbuildings More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news