Preventing All forms of Violence: Evidence for cross-sector policy

The Health and Education Unit at the Commonwealth Secretariat are holding a panel discussion looking at the evidence for cross-sector policy for reducing all forms of Violence.

The panel discussion is part of the diverse Commonwealth activities scheduled for the month of March, dedicated to Peace in the home: Efforts to end Violence against Women a, Men and Children. Following today’s event the health and education hubs will shortly be hosting a joint eDiscussion titled Empowering girls and women: The role of health and education in preventing violence.

We know that ‘countries with the highest levels of gender inequities have higher levels of violence. While gender inequities persist and are pervasive in all societies they are socially formed and entirely changeable with progress seen in many counties across the last century. The empowerment of women can be supported by a range of different developments, from legislative change to technological development often including health and education focused interventions. It is crucial to promote policies that encourage equality and inclusion.

For example:

  • Policies and programmes that close gaps in education and skills, and that support female economic participation; including those that support pay equity and allow women and men to take on equal care responsibilities for dependants.
  • Investment in sexual and reproductive health services (to achieve universal coverage of rights).

This should be underpinned by the development (and appropriate enforcement) of legislation that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex. Women should be empowered to challenge gender inequity and actively engaged in approaches that raise awareness and enforcement of their legal rights. Legislation and policing alone may not be enough to tackle some forms of abuse faced by women, such as female genital mutilation or cutting.  Community-level interventions may be required to challenge deep-rooted gender stereotypes.’

The Commonwealth in partnership with Public Health Wales have developed an ‘Evidence based violence prevention -a plan for action’ which will also be made available on the hub.

Below are links to two of the presentations given at the panel discussion.

Dr Joanna Nurse – Commonwealth Secretariat

Professor Mark Bellis’ -Public Health Wales