Why Violence Against Women Matters Helen Miller, Equality and Human Rights Commission 21 July 2009
Human Rights Issue Violence against women continues to persist as one of the most heinous, systematic and prevalent human rights abuses in the world Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary General
EHRC perspective on VAW • Gender based violence directed against a woman because she is a woman or violence that affects women disproportionately • Recognises the interconnections between different forms of VAW • We support and endorse the Scottish Government’s gendered analysis of VAW.
VAW is a key gender equality issue • Extent • 49,655 incidents of domestic abuse recorded in 2007-08 • Of the 908 reported rape cases in 2007-08 only 34 received convictions • Women are 2.5 times more likely to feel fear than men when walking alone or using public transport at night
VAW is a key gender equality issue • Impact • major cause of death and disability • physical and mental health problems • economic potential • further victimisation • impact on children
Map of Gaps 1 and 2 • In partnership with the End Violence Against Women Coalition • Mapping “specialist support services” for women who experience violence in local authority areas • Makes the link between VAW and GED • 2008 Findings – • Scotland has the best service provision in Britain • Gendered analysis of VAW and prioritisation of VAW crucial in ensuring adequate provision for women victims.
Gender Equality Duty Requires public bodies to pay due regard to the need to eliminate: • Unlawful discrimination and harassment AND • Promote equality of opportunity
Due Regard • Weight given to gender equality needs to be in proportion to its relevance – means prioritising the significant areas of gender inequality and focusing efforts on the areas where public body can have the most impact • Taking biggest action on biggest issues
Biggest issues? • 908 reported rape cases in 2007-08, BUT • many cases of rape are never reported to the police (with some studies looking at Scotland and other countries suggesting that 80% or more may not be reported) and thus never appear in the statistics produced by the police and the COPFS • Domestic abuse – 48,000+ reported cases 2007-08
Biggest issues? • Fear and the impact that this has on women citizens • But also what we don’t currently know enough about – FMG, stalking, forced marriage
Specific Duties • Publish a gender equality scheme and action plan that includes : • Collecting and using information to set objectives and review progress • Gender impact assessing existing and new policies and practices • Consulting relevant employees, service users and others (including trade unions) • Indicating how the objectives will be achieved • Report annually and review every three years
Our job is to break down inequality, build opportunity and support a civic society where fairness and the right of the individual to a life of dignity and respect is not merely an ideal but a fact.
More information • www.equalityhumanrights.com • www.mapofgaps.org • Helen.firstname.lastname@example.org • Telephone 0141 228 5958