We know that what lies at the core of preventing violence against women and girls is changing the attitudes, behaviours, and cultural and traditional practices that perpetuate this most widespread form of violence.
The million-dollar question is: how?
It’s an urgent task. Worldwide, more than a third of women have experienced physical or sexual violence, or both.
A lot of this violence is underpinned by attitudes, behaviours, and cultural and traditional practices that perpetuate negative stereotypes about women and girls and by the discrimination and inequality that emanates from these stereotypes.
That’s why we’re here, in Johannesburg, to talk about what works and how to expand effective programmes.
The Regional Conference on the Prevention of Violence Against Women and Girls in Southern Africa aims to use the evidence we already have on what violence-reduction programmes are effective to extend the programmes that work and shape new prevention programmes. It also aims to strengthen partnerships between organisations and individuals working to eliminate violence against women and girls.
We’re here to find ways to turn evidence into national policy, and, importantly, practice.
There are already many policies against violence that focus on women and girls.
Progress has been made, but too many women and girls do not feel these policies effect. This regional conference aims to make progress towards fully realising the Regional Strategy and Framework of Action for Addressing Gender-based Violence 2018-2030, which is focused on:
1. Promoting prevention and the early identification of gender-based violence by addressing associated social, cultural and/or traditional, religious, political and economic factors
2. Strengthening the delivery of effective, accessible and responsive protection, care and support services to those affected by gender-based violence
3. Strengthening regional and national capacity to effectively and efficiently respond to gender-based violence
4. Improving information and knowledge management, sharing best practices and innovating so that policies on gender-based violence are evidence-based, as is their implementation and the service planning that goes into their implementation
5. Ensuring efficient and effective management, coordination and partnership building for regional and national gender-based violence response