Violence against women and girls is the most prevalent form of violence worldwide. It is also preventable, and Professor Rachel Jewkes has been working on just that.
“We have the ability to make a real difference to women and girls’ lives and it is vital that we grasp this opportunity,” says Jewkes. She will open the first day of the conference – 4 December 2019 – with a keynote speech looking at the prevalence of violence against women and girls, and what works in the battle to end it.
A public health physician, Jewkes is the director of the What Works to Prevent Violence global programme, which operates in 13 countries from Afghanistan to Zambia. The programme engages leading international experts to produce rigorous evidence on the most effective interventions to drive down rates of violence against women and girls.
Violence against women and girls is preventable, says Jewkes. “We have a repertoire of interventions that are effective and that can be adapted and taken to scale.”
To be successful in curbing and eventually eradicating violence against women and girls interventions need to be robustly designed and well-implemented.
Jewkes is also the executive scientist in charge of research strategy at the South African Medical Research Council and secretary of the Sexual Violence Research Initiative, an international organisation that aims to increase awareness of, and promote research on, sexual violence and its linkages to other forms of violence to influence policy and practice, particularly in low- and middle-income countries.
She is an honorary professor at the University of the Witwatersrand School of Public Health.