Read more about the Club activities across our Federation that have been planned to focus on advocacy and public awareness of this important worldwide event to promote Ending Violence Against Women and Girls.
SI Lae - Papua New Guinea Region
We live in an increasingly challenging world and we need to focus on innovative ways to advance gender equality and inspire approaches that can remove cultural barriers that leave no women and girls behind.
As part of the Global Safe City Programme, UN Women PNG has worked closely with local stakeholders to improve safety across the city in making markets and public transport safe and accessible for women and girls. As an extension of the program in Lae, Soroptimist International of Lae is the leading partner on the ground to mobilize resources and stakeholders in implementing the programme.
In this process, a day was selected for training on Women’s Safety’s Audit in public space with a practical session at the main market in the city.
Food markets in rural and urban areas are essential links in the food chain, yet that is the link that people take the least interest in and know least about. Markets constitute the link where women dominate most, but also where they are vulnerable to exploitation, harassment, and victimisation.
With Soroptimist International of Lae leading the team of various women in civil societies, NGO, Churches, Government sectors and business communities, an audit of the market was conducted and this included a visit to the market in the evening to map out the lighting around the market at nights. From the particular task, 22 recommendations were identified and of these 7 were noted as needing immediate attention and it can be done by the team of the women. This included the painting of the zebra crossing in the evening of 23rd November and securing proper signs and notice boards; utilizing the PA system in the market to conduct awareness ranging from traffic to human rights and health and hygiene.
A meeting was held with the authorities advising them of the partnership we have foster to support the government in providing such need services. Also, a meeting was held with PMV bus owners and the safety of women and girls who rides on buses each day were raised with them.
Soroptimist International of Lae was again taking leadership in organsing to celebrate and observation of November 25. We have taken a different approach in promoting and encouraging to get the residents of the city, the business communities and schools and sporting codes involved in participating by wearing orange on the day or putting signs up in their business premises saying NO TO VIOLENCE.
The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an annual international campaign that starts on the 25th November, International Day of Ending Violence Against Women and Girls, and runs until 10th December, International Human Rights Day. In Papua New Guinea, we celebrate 20 Days of Activism beginning with International Children’s Day on the 20th of November.
This year, we are celebrating International Day of Ending Violence Against Women and Girls (EVAW Day) in Lae City in collaboration with Partners and Stakeholders from all sectors. This includes Morobe Family Sexual Violence Action Committee (FSVAC), Soroptimist International of Lae, UN Women, Lae Metropolitan Police and Lae City Authority, Civil Society organizations including faith-based organizations and other government agencies.
Our focus will be around making Lae city safe for women and girls. The day will include floats with women’s groups and organizations marching from Scouts Oval to Niall Reserve (Eriku Oval) demanding their rights to access safe public space, including markets and bus stops. The theme is “Community Safety is Everyone’s Responsibility’ with the following hashtags; # SanapWantaim #EndViolence #ForAbetterLae.
Women and girls continue to face sexual harassment and other forms of sexual violence in public spaces every day in urban and rural areas of Papua New Guinea. Women and girls experience and fear various types of sexual violence in public spaces, from unwanted sexual remarks and touching to rape. It happens on streets, in and around public transportation, schools, and workplaces, in public markets sites and public parks.
This reality reduces women’s and girls’ freedom of movement and their ability to participate in school, work and public life. It limits their access to essential services and their enjoyment of cultural and recreational opportunities. It also negatively impacts their health and well-being.
SI Nelson & SI Waimea – New Zealand Aotearoa South Region
SI Nelson and SI Waimea Clubs have joined this year to advocate for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Special signs were made to highlight the deaths of women and infants in New Zealand in 2018. One pair of shoes = one life. Total 15 women and 5 infants. Murder trials for two of the victims are currently in progress and are in the media constantly. The boards have Christian names and ages of the victims above each pair of shoes. These signs are being displayed around Nelson Tasman over the month of November, also participating in the Nelson Saturday Market helping to promote the White Ribbon Campaign and 18 x bikers who are riding around the South Island of New Zealand advocating White Ribbon Day.
Image - Wet day at the Market with Waimea Soroptimists, White ribbon Riders and Women’s Refuge
Link to Bikers White Ribbon Article Here
SI Griffith – New South Wales, Australia Region
SI Griffith has created a series of 16 short videos with the goal to draw attention to the reality that women often do not feel safe in their local community. These videos focus on and document how women feel about their personal safety and the actions they take in their day-to-day life to feel safe. The target audience to promote these videos is men and teenage boys (16+), and through education and awareness, we hope this will be part of the solution.
Videos will be shared on the SI Griffith and SISWP Facebook pages, starting on 25 November.
Griffith local newspaper is supporting the campaign, and they will also share the videos on their Facebook page. A launch event is scheduled at Griffith Library on 28 November, and local high schools in our area have been approached and asked if they will show the video series to their senior students at a special assembly.
SI North Shore – New Zealand Aotearoa North Region
SI North Shore Club participated in the local area annual Santa Parade which brings many locals together to celebrate the upcoming festive season. SI North Shore participated in the parade by holding a walk dressed in the colour orange to symbolising a brighter future free from violence.
Orange balloons and lollies were handed out along with brochures that identify the resources available for any women who requires assistance from a violent situation.
SI Mackay – North Queensland, Australia Region
SI Mackay have continued with their successful "Walk the Talk" campaign of 2018. Producing posters for distribution to local businesses along with a letter explaining the campaign and what businesses can do to help.
For the month of November club members will be visiting local businesses encouraging them to display the poster and post to social media as a way to demonstrate their commitment to eliminating violence within our community.
SI Bayside - South Queensland, Australia Region
SI Bayside will be holding a Walk the Talk: Redlands Coast Unites Against Gender Based Violence on Thursday 5th December 2019.
After the walk from Kyling Corner (named after Leona Kyling who was a poet, writer, dress-maker, designer, historian and sculptress who did extensive work for charities in the local area. There is a statue of her at Kyling Corner.) to Raby Bay Harbour Park where there will be a program featuring messages of support and hope, music, the local Mayor Karen Williams will speak and stories of survival. The event will finish with the opportunity to write messages of support to be passed onto the local women’s refuge.
A Redlands Against Violence Facebook page has been set up, which has a link to the event. https://www.facebook.com/redlandsagainstviolence
Plus the event is listed on SI Bayside’s new website: https://sibaysideinc.wixsite.com/sibayside/copy-of-home
SI Region of Fiji
Soroptimist International Fiji launched the 16 Days of Activism campaign against Gender Violence on Saturday 23rd November in Ba.
The seven clubs under the Fiji Region banner launched this campaign at the SI Fiji Awards Nights at the Ba Town Council Hall in the presence of SI members, well wishers and the Business community in Ba.
The launch was initiated by SWP President Elect Suman Lal who indicated that the awards function is a great opportunity to Launch this campaign which starts on 25th November.
SI Fiji is calling on all civil society stakeholders to intensify activities against gender based violence during the activism period.
All the respective SI clubs will carry out projects and activities in their respective communities to advocate against Gender violence.
Meanwhile, Fiji's rates of violence against women are "among the very highest in the world". The Fiji Women's Crisis Centre reports that 64% of women who have been in intimate relationships have experienced physical or sexual violence from their partner, including 61% who were physically attacked and 34% who were sexually abused.
Violence against women and girls takes many different forms in the Pacific. These include intimate partner physical and/or sexual violence, non-partner sexual assault, sexual exploitation and trafficking, and harmful practices such as bride price and accusations of sorcery. Prevalence of these types of violence is high in the region; in most countries, it is much higher than the global average of 35 percent.