Saturday, April 21, 2018

firencaA two day expert meeting was organized in Florence by Due Diligence, with the support of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Rights and Justice. The focus of the meeting was on the principal of due diligence and effective inclusion of community leaders in preventing violence and discrimination of women. Tanja Ignjatovic from the Autonomous Women’s Center, and Aleksandra Nestorov, coordinator of the Women against Violence Network participated in this meeting.

The meeting aimed at: exploring the role played by the state, it’s power and influence on acceptance or rejection of discrimination and violence against women; identifying and critically researching the basic elements of effective inclusion of community leaders based on human rights principles; analyzing the basic elements of “good practices” in contemporary cases where community leaders are are already included in this endeavor; developing a “framework” for good practices that are simultaneously both specific and work on multiple levels; identifying and exchanging strategies and existing examples of good practices.

Our representatives from the AWC and the Network of Women against Violence found the meeting inspirational and gained valuable experiences shared from far of lands in Africa, Asia and Latin America – all of which confirmed that male oppression of women is, regardless of its specificities, both global and resilient, and correlates to political and religious influences. Also, their meeting with Karima Bennoune, UN Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights, was especially significant. Ignjatovic and Nestorov disscussed with Bennoune about the influence of fundamentalism and extremism on women and their rights, women’s freedom, possibilities for involvement in social, economic and political life, and especially on access to birth control, sexual freedoms, accessibility of contraceptives and abortion, influence of gender stereotypes and ideological barriers, as well as hate speech and violence.