Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Violence Against Women...so what's next?

Today was incredibly fascinating. I went to two talks about violence, one about education, and one about poverty. I was especially interested in the two talks about violence against women (VAW). The first one discussed policies and policing related to VAW and the second discussed Sweden's legislation on prostitution.  Sweden now outlaws the buying of sex, and they have seen a great decline in prostitution and human trafficking rates. It was really nice to hear that their legislation is leading to true results, as I often feel that legislation gets us nowhere.

In the discussion about policies and policing related to VAW, there was a panel of speakers that touched on human trafficking in Ghana, all around violence against women, and community policing. Unlike the Swedish legislation discussion, this discussion left me more curious. One professor mentioned that when we look at violence against women it is important to remember the "3 Ps" Prevention, Protection, and Prosecution. While I feel that NGOs have been working well on preventing VAW and protecting survivors of VAW, there is still such a lack in the justice system. It is so crucial that we continue to work on prosecuting perpetrators. It bothers me to no end that so many perpetrators go without prosecution. I hope this issue is addressed more this week, and I hope I am able to learn about more policies that address the perptrators, such as Sweden's legislation.


  1. Reminds me that VAW, like many other issues, can only change when there are shared community values...and that even the very best legislation is worthless without enforcement.

  2. Interesting point about Sweden. I also sometimes feel like legislation can get us nowhere, especially when it isn't implemented. Sounds like a great example where legislation and implementation went hand-in-hand. I'm sure there are a lot of interesting stories here about how police and local officials had to be trained to deal with these issues in a sustainable, compassionate way.

    Would love to have a talk with you when you get back about some of the ways that you have seen links between some of the VAW work and opportunities for the justice system. Maybe you will see some good case studies while you're at CSW this week!