Monday, March 9, 2015

Violence against women - Alison Domonoske

Today at our first official day of CSW sessions I attended some great informational panels. First, the World Health Organization hosted a discussion on preventing and responding to violence against girls and women (VAW)—framing it as a public health and political problem. Here, I was please to hear that over 123 countries have criminalized VAW in the past two decades but shocked to learn that 53 countries still don’t recognize forced marriage (rape) within a marriage as a crime. All the speakers called for more evidence, research, programming and evaluation in VAW so that accurate policies can be implemented—it was a very inspiring call for activists.

Quote from WHO violence against women panel.

Peggie Ramaphane, leader of WoMen against rape, leads the WHO VAW call to action.

Then I attended a panel on women in political leadership. A couple of the panelists were Corine Mauch, the first female mayor of Zurich, Switzerland and Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, the executive director of UN Women. Hearing their stories about women in politics around the world, including Mlambo-Ngcuka and her anti-apartheid struggles in South Africa, amazed me and gave me hope for future female political leaders. I also learned that Switzerland only gave women the right to vote in 1971!!! I still can’t believe that. Tomorrow I’m looking forward to attending events on Armed Conflict in the Arab world, reproductive rights, climate change and a high-level ministerial panel.


  1. Alison--amazing the topics and people you can get exposure to in one short week. I am guessing the panels/speakers also are helping you think about our own session on Wednesday. Enjoy the day!!

  2. Your photo choices are stunning. Stephanie will be proud to see the one about "Change Norms", one of those memorable notes that stay with you. And it sounds like there is lots on your plate about government policy--one of your special interests. Enjoy the day.

    My best tomorrow as you anchor the presentations from our Fellows. "Thank your housekeepers!" Hope everyone at CSW will take your message to heart!