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Elimination of Violence Against Women 2018 Digital Conference

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 Welcome to the website of the Elimination of Violence Against Women 2018 Digital Conference.

 The conference is organised in support of the United Nations’ International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. This day marks the beginning of the annual international campaign ‘16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence’. It is a moment to increase awareness, galvanise advocacy efforts, share knowledge and innovations, and call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.

 The last years marked several important victories for women. Jordan, Lebanon and Tunisia repealed rape-marriage laws. Powerful men were held accountable for sexual harassment and assault. Chile eased its rules on abortion. The UK and parts of the US eliminated tampon taxes. More women were involved in the peace-building process in Colombia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Yemen. For the first time in decades, some Pakistani women voted. Female heads of state were appointed in Croatia, Lithuania, Mauritius, Nepal and Taiwan. Canada and the Netherlands stepped up to direct more resources to advance women’s rights. Thousands of women marched for anti-discrimination, LGBTQI rights, reproductive rights, religious freedom and refugee rights all over the world.

 Despite these victories, women still face many challenges. In mid-2016, only 22.8% of all national parliamentarians were women. The gender gap in the labour market prevails. It is estimated that 1 in 3 women worldwide experiences physical and/or sexual violence during their lifetime. Russia took steps to decriminalise domestic violence. Bangladesh is considering to legalise the marriage of girls under the age of 18. Early and forced marriage as well as poverty and gender norms prevent many girls around the world from attending secondary school. In addition to promoting gender inequality, social customs such as female genital mutilation impose real health consequences. It is estimated that 800 women die every day from preventable, pregnancy-related causes. The US’ Global Gag Rule threatens global health funding and its efforts to defund Planned Parenthood undermine women’s legal and reproductive rights at home. Conflict-related sexualised violence continues to be perpetrated in Afghanistan, the Central African Republic, Colombia, the Congo, Iraq, Libya, Mali, Myanmar, Somalia, Sudan and South Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Every year, over 60,000 women are killed in an act of femicide around the world.

 To bring women’s stories to light, the theme of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women 2018 is ‘Orange the World: #HearMeToo’. Under this motto, this digital conference aims to create opportunities for dialogue and amplify the voices of academics, activists and expert professionals across geographic locations, disciplines and sectors working to prevent and end violence against women.

 As part of this conference, participants situate contemporary feminism within a broader historical context and highlight violence against women as a global phenomenon. They discuss the challenges public life creates for women and how gender norms, roles and expectations are shaped by the media and advertising. Presentations also analyse print media as well as sports as sites of violence against women and discuss female genital mutilation, child marriage, and violence during pregnancy as specific forms of violence that women experience. Sex work serves as an example of practices and situations that stand at the crossroads of women’s oppression and liberation. Highlighting the continuum of violence against women in peace and war time, presentations also discuss issues around gender, conflict and peace. Moreover, presentations explore different ways of addressing violence against women, including legal responses, at micro and macro level.

 All contributions to this digital academic conference have been submitted in video form and can be found under the Presentations section of the website. They have been suited to specific themes within the broader topic of violence against women.

For participants and interested parties, a discussion forum has been opened to facilitate a constructive discussion with regards to the topics. If you are an interested party, you are welcome to apply for access under the Contact section.