Practical Examples and Open Forum

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Practical Examples and Open Forum

This is a space for conversation leaders and guests to pose questions, propose ideas, share successes, tactics, tools and resources with one another that have not been addressed in other threads. 

What does VAW have to do with access to safe and legal abortion?

Systemic denial of sexual and reproductive health services, including access to safe and legal abortion, is a form of institutional violence against women. Do you agree? 

We are facilitating this discussion as part of the Global Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion aka the #Sept28 campaign.  

Systemic denial of sexual and reproductive health services, including access to safe and legal abortion, is a form of institutional violence against women.
Let's unpack this a little

Let's unpack this a little further. The UN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women explicitly states that violence against women includes “physical, sexual and psychological violence perpetrated or condoned by the State or its agents regardless of where it occurs”. The ICPD PoA states that everyone has the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.

When a woman is denied access to safe and legal abortion, whether due to restrictive laws or due to obstruction of access to services, that has a negative effect on the lives of women who need these services. While this impacts all women, it can specifically impact marginalized groups such as unmarried women, young women, women living with HIV, LBT women, sex workers, women with disabilities, etc. And given that the state has an obligation towards the wellbeing of its citizens as well as obligations stemming from international conventions they have signed and ratified, the denial of access to safe and legal abortion becomes a form of institutional violence against women. 

Another way a link between

Another way a link between abortion and violence against manifests is when there are threats to and lack of protection for the lives and wellbeing of Women’s Human Rights Defenders (WHRD) who advocate for SRHR including access to safe and legal abortion. This again is a form of institutional violence against women. These threats come from both state and non-state actors and often the state fails to provide adequate protection for WHRDs. Any suggestions on steps that can be taken to address this situation? 

Global Day of Action resources

Thank you for sharing these resources and highlighting September 28 - International Safe Abortion Day. The Oberservatory on the Universality of Rights offers these 15 Resources for Activisim (including some of ARROW's great resources) for safe and leagal abortion.

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So great!

"The deny of reproductive services that only women require, is discrimination" said Alda Facio member of the UN Working group for legislations against women. 

International Binding Instrument Prohibiting VAW

I am curious about thoughts any on this discussion have about the on the need for a binding, specific international instrument prohibiting violence against women.  As I mentioned at the end of another post, Ms. Dubravka Šimonović, the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, is currently focusing on the "legal and policy frameworks of her mandate and the international human rights mechanisms to discuss the gap in incorporating and implementing the international and regional standards related to violence against women.

The Special Rapporteur considers that the discussion on the adequacy of the international legal framework on violence against women initiated by the former mandate holder should continue and she wishes to secure views from different stakeholders, including States, National Human Rights Institutions, Non-governmental organizations, as well as members of academia." See for the call for submissions.  See also the Report from the former mandate holder on the need for a legally binding international framework (A/HRC/29/27).

We at Global Rights for Women believe strongly that a specific, binding instrument prohibiting VAW is long overdue. The current piecemeal framework involving various nonbinding general recommendations by the Committing for the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women, various binding and non-binding regional legal frameworks, international and regional tribunal jurisprudence, is very cumbersome for states to navigate, understand, and implement.  We are preparing a submission to the Special Rapporteur on our thoughts and would love to include any thoughts that any of you have, as well.  We also encourage anyone else to prepare their own submission on the same, due October 1, 2016.

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Advocacy Efforts

A tactic that was employed to highlight violence against women during the Rio Olympic Games was effective. See



















Usage of social media in advocacy efforts related to VAW

Another example is the usage of social media like Twitter to mobilize people into action. See



Sharing resources

Attached is a report on femicide by intimate partners in Armenia conducted by Coalition Against Violence Against Women which highlights cases, risk factors and challenges faced. This report was made to be used as a tool for change -

The European Commission is inviting applications for granthad also s on national information, awareness raising, and education for preventing and combating violence against women. Please take note that the deadline for submissions is on October 27, 2016.

Direct Link to Full 28-Page Call for Proposals:

Challenges for protection services for survivors in Latin America was documented in the following report - direct Link to Full 40-Page 2016 Report:

WHO and UNODC had issued an excellent report on strenghtening the medical legal response to sexual violence which can be accessed below: