I haven’t posted here for a little while, for a number of reasons. But I’m glad that my returning blog post is such an important one. Please excuse the massive plug post but once again I’m calling upon all of my lovely feminists, Scouse and otherwise, to rally together for another fantastic event in our great city.
ActionAid: Acting to end violence against women and girls in Liverpool and around the world
For the last month or so I’ve teamed up with international development charity ActionAid as part of a global campaign called Fearless.
The Fearless campaign seeks to end violence against women and girls worldwide. ActionAid found me through my work this year with RTN Liverpool and I’m excited and proud to be involved with
such a wonderful international charity.
The Fearless campaign seeks an end to violence against women, the world over. In September, global governments will agree a target on eliminating violence against women at the UN General Assembly. But a target alone isn’t enough. It’s vital that governments around the world put proper resources behind it, and that women’s groups are involved from the start.
I’ll be joining ActionAid as a panelist at a public debate at Liverpool’s Quakers Meeting House in School Lane, L1 on Thursday evening 3rd September from 6pm where I will speak alongside other women’s rights activists as well as ActionAid staff. This event is FREE and open to all. (Reserve tickets with link below).
Hopefully joining us, via Skype due to a visa issue, will be Tiwonge Gondwe from Malawi. Tiwonge escaped an abusive marriage in her home country in 2006 after being beaten for years by her former husband and being infected by him with HIV. But she turned this experience into a positive force after joining a local women’s group funded by ActionAid.
(Pictured: Malawian violence against women activist Tiwonge Gondwe).
Having found the courage to stand up to her husband and be open about her HIV status, Tiwonge is now the group’s director, bringing up her four children alone. She helps women and girls in similar situations to her own, pursuing abusers through the courts as well as holding them to shame within the local community while campaigning to change attitudes.
Globally, one in three women will experience some form of sexual violence during their lifetime and sexual abuse is still a serious issue in the UK.
According to crime figures released by the Office of National Statistics the numbers of rapes and other sexual offences in England and Wales are at the highest level since the introduction of the National Crime Recording Standard in 2002/3.
In the UK, sexual offences recorded by the police rose by 37 per cent last year, even though overall crime dropped by around 7 per cent.
These figures aren’t all bad, as well as improvements in recording, this rise is also thought to reflect a greater willingness of victims to come forward to report such crimes. If this is the case, are we seeing a tidal change in the empowerment of victims of sexual violence? I certainly hope so.
But I don’t just want people to be reporting sexual violence and violence against women, I want to stop violence against women entirely.
That’s why I’m backing ActionAid’s Fearless campaign.
ActionAid are asking David Cameron to push for a target on ending violence at the UN General assembly in September, to put proper resources behind it, and to make sure women’s organisations are involved from the start.
The Quakers Meeting House, School Lane, Liverpool event will take place on Thursday 3rd September from 6 – 8.15pm. The meeting is FREE and refreshments will be served at the start of the discussion.
To reserve a ticket go to the Standing with Fearless Women webpage or ring Elizabeth Baines at ActionAid on 020 3122 0759.
RTN picture credits to Patrick D’Arcy @ Ynos Productions, Liverpool.
All other picture copyrights belong to Action Aid.