• 28 October 2013

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    Category : Opinion

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    New forms of violence

    We at the Regional Government of Madrid, through the Ministry of Social Affairs’ General Department for Women, and with the support of the International and Ibero-American Foundation of Public Administration and Policies (FIIAPP) are very much look forward to preparing the inauguration of an international event. The FirstInternational Congress against Gender-based Violence will take place on the 5th and 6th of November at the Canal Isabel II Auditorium in Madrid.

    Gender-based violence is a blight on society that continues to have a strong impact, not onlyfrom the gruesome murders that appear in the media, but alsofrom the suffering, abuse and humiliation of so many women and children every day in our country and, unfortunately, throughout the entire world.

    Gender-based violence in the 21st century has thrown up major challenges, including the appearance of new forms of violence related to technological and social advances, such as social networks, cyberspace and migratory movements, which have led to other forms of violence. Although certain types of violence may not necessarily be a recent development, we must make an effort to raise awareness about gender-based violence, taking into consideration its continuous growth. Such is the case, for example, with the exposure of minors to gender-based violence in young couples. There is also a pressing need to develop new strategies that will allow us to be more effective in the fight against gender-based violence – to study and review the effectiveness of legal protection for victims, to detect psychological and “low-intensity” violence, to raise awareness and get society to be actively involved, etc.

    We have therefore decided that the title of this first international congress should be “New Forms of Violence.” Not only do we want to demonstrate our commitment to the fight against gender-based violence, but also our interest in covering all the phenomenon that continue to perpetuate misogynist violence, considering the social changes of the past few decades, as an endemic evil in the world, even in apparently more developed societies.

    Important speakers will join us for this congress, such as: Rebeca Grynspan, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations;Keiko Nowacka, Coordinator for the OECD gender-based project; Marcela Suazo, Director of the United Nations’ Development Fund and former Minister of Honduras,Randa Sayegh, President of the Hispanic-Arabic Women’s Union, andViviana Waisman, Executive Director of Women’s Link Worldwide. Also, Vivian Huelgo will speak to us about civil society’s commitment to combat gender-based violence. The following people will represent Spain at the conference: Blanca Hernandez Oliver, the government’s delegate for gender-based violence, Gema Gallego, the magistrate and spokesperson for the Observatory Against Domestic Violence, as well as psychiatrists Celso Arango and Luis Bonino.

    As I already mentioned, we have found a wonderful partner for this project in the International and Ibero-American Foundation for Public Administration and Policies (FIIAPP), which has been working with the Autonomous Region of Madrid on this important initiative. We also have sponsors such as Canal de Isabel II, La Caixa and the United States Embassy in Spain.

    I hope that this congress will be a success, and the resulting conclusions will certainly be a major breakthrough in the eradication of this unjust, unjustified, and unjustifiable threat to women’s rights. Nevertheless, we must always remember that continuing to make progress, moving towards a future without gender-based violence, depends on what each and every one of us does today, right here, right now.

    Laura Ruiz de Galarreta Barrera
    General Director for Women

    More information at www.nuevasformasdeviolencia.es

    The views and opinions expressed in this blog are the sole responsibility of its author.