INEVAWG convenes regional consultation on violence against women and girls

Masimanyane and our regional partners in the International Network to End Violence Against Women and Girls (INEVAWG) have convened a high-level regional consultation on gender-based violence in Mauritius this week.

One of the most significant outcomes of this forum has been a working document outlining INEVAWG's political platform.

The document reads:

Over the years women’s movements on every continent have struggled to transform societies and change States’ and institutional responses to violence against women and girls. While progress has been made, it is still within an ever shifting context of impunity.

Violence against women and girls remains a pandemic and a violation of our human rights. Currently, we witness patriarchy being recycled as gender equality which in turn serves to reinforce systems of oppression. It is within this climate that the International Network to End Violence Against Women and Girls (INEVAWG) emerged.

The response to, and elimination of, the multiple forms of violence that we as Black women/women of colour are subjected to, is largely depoliticized, rendered invisible and/or ignored. Our rights are being eroded, our knowledge is often appropriated, and our experiences are either minimised or regarded as secondary.

We are often silenced, objectified and excluded from leadership opportunities and key spaces that would enable us to contribute to structural and transformative changes. Internationally, the substantive participation of women in and of the South is rarely given space. We are often treated as objects and our individual and collective agencies denied.

INEVAWG condemns the rise of white nationalist and right-wing populist governments, the surveillance of citizens by States and tech industries, as well as militarism and extremism. These are underpinned by sexism, misogyny, white supremacy, racism, casteism, and the neoliberal economic system that prioritizes profits over people; all of which contribute to the increase in levels of violence we experience and witness across the world.

To address the numerous challenges we face, INEVAWG is using a Black feminist, intersectional and multi-sectoral approach which prioritizes ending violence against women and girls as a deeply political process requiring conceptual clarity and movement building from a de-colonial and anti-racist perspective. Our work is rooted in the South and focused on ending all manifestations of violence against women and girls. Our focus is Black women/women of colour, and we center the experiences and priorities of women and girls in, and of, the South.

A critical part of our de-colonial approach is an acknowledgement of the urgency of a by and for Network to effect necessary and transformational changes. We prioritize the need to contextualize women and girls’ lived realities, and the linking of violence against women and girls to economic, political, social and cultural processes. Furthermore, INEVAWG connects and highlights linkages between violence against women and laws, policies, programs, practices and institutions at the local, the regional and the global level.

Women and girls worldwide face multiple and intersecting forms of oppression, based on sex and gender, age, (dis)ability, race and colour, caste, social and economic class, sexual orientation, gender identity, sexuality, religion, language, immigration status, etc. Additionally, political agendas are often set for, and not by, communities - with women being most marginalized by mainstream national and international policies.

INEVAWG appreciates that our experiences and liberation are linked with diverse Black women/women of colour, with whom we work in solidarity. We also recognise the importance of working with white women who acknowledge their role as allies in our struggles against oppression and subordination.

Worldwide, Black women have been working to address and end violence in our communities in general, and against women and girls in particular. The current context demands that we reevaluate our tool kit of concepts, language and strategies, and develop and strengthen our intersectional and multi-sectoral frameworks to dismantle the root causes of violence against women and girls and ensure that women, our communities and our countries experience transformative equality, justice, freedom and peace.

INEVAWG’s vision: A world where all women and girls live without violence and enjoy equality, autonomy, freedom and justice.

INEVAWG’s mission: To end all forms of violence against all women and girls, through intersectional solidarity and feminist movement building, which disrupts and transforms structural oppressions, for the realization of women’s and girls’ human rights.

Download the full document here.

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