Based on our firm belief in the inherent dignity of all of creation, VIVAT International is committed to the full empowerment and development of both women and men. It is an essential human right that the fundamental dignity and equality of all women must be ensured.
VIVAT International‚Äôs work is centered on the international level to eliminate violence against women, one of the most pervasive and brutal forms of discrimination that women experience.
- UN Division for the Advancement of Women
The Division for the Advancement of Women is a central UN body that advocates for the improvement of the status of women worldwide. Located in New York, this office strives to mainstream a gender perspective both within and outside the UN system.
- Women Watch
Created as the first internet space for global gender equality issues and to support implementation of the 1995 Beijing Platform for Action, Women Watch is the central gateway to information and resources on gender equity and the empowerment of women at the UN. This website compiles and integrates the work of many UN bodies involved in promoting women’s rights.
The United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) provides technical assistance and innovative strategies to foster women’s empowerment. UNIFEM focuses its activities on four strategic areas: reducing feminized poverty, ending violence against women, reversing the spread of HIV and AIDS among women and girls, and achieving gender equality in democratic governance in times of peace as well as war.
- Commission on Human Rights
Special Rapporteurs on violence against women, its causes and consequences
- Human Rights Watch – Women’s Rights
Human Rights Watch works to fight the dehumanization and marginalization of women. Resources include country studies and specific campaign focus pages.
- The World Organization Against Torture (OMCT)
Program on violence against women
How can I help?
- Take an interest: Monitor how your community, government, police, security forces and courts respond to violence against women and girls;
- Reflect on your attitude:¬†Challenge prejudice and discriminatory attitudes toward women. Support the women around you to develop their full potential;
- Organize community events: Celebrate the International Day for the Eradication of Violence against Women on 25 November and the International Women’s Day on 8 March.
- Contact your local police authorities and government: Make sure they adequately train staff to include a gender perspective and respond to domestic violence. ¬† If they do not, contact local groups who could provide training to police and other authorities.
- Use the media as an agent for education and social change: Write editorials or articles highlighting services in your community for women who are victims of violence or discuss a particularly prevalent violation of women’s human rights in your country.
- Create a “violence-free space” in the community: Have representatives from a local battered women’s shelter, spend the day in the public space (library, city government building, shops) to provide counseling, information on violence against women and options available to women who have been affected by violence.
- Distribute information:¬† Have material that outlines the rights of women and provides contact information for organizations that provide services, empowerment or educational opportunities and tools to women in the area. ¬† Provide information also on men’s roles in achieving gender equality.
- Hold public events that commemorate the women who have lost their lives to violence: Compile statistical data that reflects the number of women in your community who lost their lives to violence during the past year, or even longer. ¬† Display this information in a public space using creative methods i.e. artwork displayed in a local museum or store, a song which could be played on the local radio, a series of articles printed in the local newspaper etc.
- Respond to the questionnaire: This questionnaire is prepared by the Special Rapporteur documenting cases of violence against women. Send responses to VIVAT International.
- Learn more about CEDAW and find out if your government has ratified it. If they have not (for example: Somalia, Sudan, United States, Iran), write a letter to your government representatives urging them to ratify CEDAW.
Participate in the annual¬†Commission on the Status of Women
16 Days of Activism to Stop Gender Violence.
Between 25 November and 10 December, join the 16-day international campaign to stop gender violence. ¬† This campaign focuses on raising awareness of gender violence, strengthening networks and organizations working for women’s empowerment and providing tools to pressure governments to take stronger action to eliminate violence against women.