International Day 2009 for the
Elimination of Violence against Women
PARLIAMENTARY EVENTS AROUND THE WORLD
Information on any event parliaments around the world held to mark the International Day 2009 for the Elimination of Violence against Women are listed in this section. Click on the country name to see information about the corresponding parliament as stored in PARLINE database.
Last updated on 26 March 2010
|Country||Description of event|
|Afghanistan||The General Secretariat of the Wolesi Jirga (House of Representatives) of the National Assembly of Afghanistan will organize an event for the Committees on Women’s Affairs, Civil Society and Human Rights of both Houses of Parliament to commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. The event will be held under the theme Commit – Act – Demand: We can end Violence against Women at the Conference Hall of the Wolesi Jirga on 25 November 2009 and will be open to the media.
Members of parliament, officials from the Ministry for Women’s Affairs and the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission, representatives of civil society organizations, women’s rights activists, international organizations, UN agencies involved in gender equality and women’s rights and women’s associations are expected to participate. Copies of IPU material specially designed to mark the occasion (brochures, posters and booklets) will be distributed to the participants.
On this occasion, there will be a discussion on the law to combat violence against women, which will be submitted shortly to the plenary of the Wolesi Jirga for debate.
|Albania||A special plenary session was held in the Albanian Parliament on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Chaired by the Albanian Speaker, Mrs. Jozefina Topalli, the session aimed to raise awareness of the problem and the important battle to protect women’s rights. Speaker Topalli made a strong appeal for more solid cooperation among Albanian politicians, civil society, police, courts, and local government to protect the victims of this form of violence.
Some women MPs also addressed the special session and the artist Arben Derhemi read a short story on violence, in which she appealed to all the boys and men of Albania to say no to violence and to join the movement to put an end to this scourge for good.
|Andorra||The Legislative Committee on Social Affairs, the parliamentary committee dealing with the status of women and gender equality at the Andorran Parliament, will be organizing a round table discussion on "Combating violence against women through the justice system" on 25 November 2009.
Members of parliament, officials from the ministry of Health and the Ministry of Justice, members of the High Council of Justice and the Office of the Attorney General, and representatives of civil society organizations involved in defending women’s rights will be participating in the event, which will be open to the media.
|Austria||The Speaker of the Austrian Parliament, Ms. Barbara Prammer, will hold a press conference on violence against women together with the parliamentary spokespersons for gender equality and women's rights of the different parties represented in parliament. The purpose of the press conference is to raise awareness and send a clear message that the parties are united under a common goal: to ban domestic violence against women. On 10 December, all members of parliament and members of the government will have an opportunity to sign up to UNIFEM's Say NO to Violence against Women campaign.|
|Canada||Two motions were adopted unanimously by the House of Commons on the issue of violence against women. The first one was to mark the 10th anniversary of the formal proclamation by the United Nations of 25 November as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. The second was to mark the 20th anniversary of the Montreal massacre at the Ecole Polytechnique and the adoption in 1991 of the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women in response to this tragedy: 20 years ago, on 6 December 1989, a gunman entered a classroom in Montreal’s Ecole Polytechnique; he separated the men from the women and then shot 14 young women to death.|
Between 25 November and 6 December, many Senators and Members of the House made statements in Parliament on the subject of violence against women.
|Belarus||On 25 November 2009 - International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women - Ms. Antonina Morova, Chairperson of the Standing Committee of the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly for Education, Science, Culture and Social Development, and Co-Chair of the Belarusian Union of Women, took part in the round table session on the subject of "Overcoming Violence against Women in Belarus: Reality and Prospects". Other participants included representatives of the Belarusian Union of Women and eminent experts. Further information about the event are provided on the official website of the National Assembly.|
|Chile||The Chilean Chamber of Deputies TV channel, on-line radio station and on-line newspaper have prepared a set of messages to commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November 2009. The television channel has recorded a discussion programme on this issue at which two well-known women MPs who are experts in the field participated. The programme will be aired on 26 November. The on-line radio station will carry a series of short messages all week related to the theme featuring the voices of various women MPs. The radio station will also air on 25 November a special programme featuring women parliamentarians. Lastly, the Chamber of Deputies on-line newspaper will publish the tools designed by the Inter-Parliamentary Union to mark the occasion as well as information on violence against women in Chile. All of these can be viewed at a special section dedicated to the issue on the official website of the Chilean Chamber of Deputies|
|Croatia||To mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, the Speaker of the Croatian Parliament, Luka Bebić, made a statement during the plenary session. In his address, Mr. Bebić stressed the importance of strengthening efforts to combat discrimination and violence against women. The Croatian Parliament will take more decisive actions with a view to enacting and enforcing legislation to address these issues more effectively and to raise awareness of gender equality in society. The statement was welcomed by the members of parliament in the Plenary Hall of the Croatian Parliament and broadcast live on national television. |
Also on 24 November, the Gender Equality Committee of the Croatian Parliament organized a roundtable discussion in the Croatian Parliament on: “The life and problems of victims of violence after leaving safe houses”. The event enjoyed wide media coverage due to the presence of many distinguished guests and representatives of government, NGOs and Committee members.
|Cyprus||The House of Representatives of the Republic of Cyprus will organize an event to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 7 December 2009, with the overall theme “Commit – Act – Demand: We can end Violence Against Women”.|
The President of the House of Representatives, Mr. Marios Garoyian, will address the event. Mrs. Soteroulla Charalambous, Minister of Labour and Social Insurance and Mrs. Dina Akkelidou, Chairperson of the House Standing Committee on Equal Opportunities Between Men and Women, will also deliver speeches.
Photographs and other printed material collected from different national, european and international organizations, such as the IPU, as well as other bodies and stakeholders involved in the campaign to end violence against women, will be presented and disseminated during the event.
Furthermore, the National Action Plan to End Violence against Women, as well as the measures put forward to end Human Trafficking in Women will also be presented.
On the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, the Chairperson of the House Standing Committee on Equal Opportunities Between Men and Women will submit before the Plenary of the House of Representatives a relevant draft resolution.
|Ecuador||During a press conference held on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, members of parliament Scherznarda Fernández and María Paula Romo, together with Speaker Fernando Cordero, underscored the parliament’s commitment to legislating on this matter that is equally important as other issues of national interest. The press conference also provided an opportunity to announce the forthcoming regional seminar for Latin American parliaments, to be organized jointly by the Inter-Parliamentary Union and the National Assembly of Ecuador. On this, the Speaker of the National Assembly said "We support all groups and social events that speak out against violence as the only way to put an end to it is by not remaining silent. That is why we have decided to organize a seminar for parliamentarians in Ecuador next February". Entitled Combating Violence against Women: From legislation to effective enforcement, the regional seminar will be held in Cuenca, Ecuador, from 24 to 26 February 2010.|
|Finland||To mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, the Parliament of Finland posted a press release on its website, a commentary on How the Parliaments can act to stop violence against women by Ms. Katri Komi, MP, Chairperson of the Finnish Inter-Parliamentary Group, and distributed the press release widely in the print media in Finland.|
|Gabon||On 25 November 2009, the National Assembly marked the 10th anniversary of the proclamation by the United Nations of 25 November as International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Debates were organized on the topic with members of government and the diplomatic corps in attendance.|
|Georgia||At 2 p.m. on 25 November 2009 at the Parliament building, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), with the support of the Gender Advisory Council, will organize a ceremony under the chairmanship of the Speaker of the Parliament of Georgia to mark the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence Campaign, under the slogan: “Commit • Act • Demand: We CAN End Violence Against Women!”|
As part of this event, an exhibition of the different materials related to violence against women and a reception will be organized. Invited guests include members of parliament and members of the government, representatives of non-governmental organizations, the diplomatic corps and international organizations.
|Greece||The Hellenic Parliament will organize discussion on the subject of Violence against Women during the Plenary meeting on 26 November 2009, while the Parliamentary Committee on Equality, Youth and Human Rights will hold a meeting on the subject on the occasion of the International Day. The General Secretariat for Gender Equality, NGOs, women's organizations, associations and movements have been invited to attend the meeting, where copies of the IPU material will be handed out.|
|Lebanon||A parliamentary workshop on “The draft law on protecting women from domestic violence in Lebanon” will be held on 2 December at the parliament. Organized by the Parliament’s Secretariat and UNDP, in cooperation with the parliamentary Committees on Women and Children and Human Rights, and with the support of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the workshop will bring together members of the Law Modernization Committee, ministers, representatives of public authorities, civil society organizations, journalists, jurists and women who are victims of domestic violence.|
The purpose of the event is to gauge the scope of violence against women and identify ways of tackling the problem. It also aims to present and discuss a draft law submitted by the campaign to legalize the protection of women against domestic violence. A video presentation of the national awareness campaign and real-life accounts from Lebanese women who are victims of violence will also be presented.
At the end of the workshop, an exhibition entitled “Silent Witness” will be inaugurated at the parliament and will run until 10 December. This exhibition includes sculptures symbolizing women and young girls suffering different forms of domestic violence.
|Maldives||The People’s Majlis will hold a special debate to adopt a resolution on the elimination of violence against women at its sitting on 25 November 2009, to mark the 10th anniversary of the formal proclamation by the United Nations of 25 November as International Day for Elimination of Violence against Women. The debate will be broadcast live on television and on the Internet.|
Following the discussion, the members of parliament will sign the petition “Say NO – UNiTE to end Violence against Women”, initiated by United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) as a way of advancing the objectives of the UN Secretary-General’s campaign UNiTE to end Violence against Women through social mobilization.
Moreover, copies of the information booklet entitled Priority Actions for Parliaments, issued by the IPU, will be distributed to all members of parliament.
|Philippines||On 1 December, Senator Pia S. Cayetano launched an exhibition entitled "Stop! The time to end VAW is now" in celebration of 25 November as International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. The exhibition showcases the artwork of children from Marillac Hills, a temporary shelter in the Philippines for girls and young women who are in need of special care and protection. The centre caters to girls who are in conflict with the law, have been sexually abused, sexually exploited, and unwed mothers. It also shows pictures of how violence is perpetrated all over the world in line with the international theme.
As early as July 2007, Senator Pia S. Cayetano filed Senate Bill No. 1407 in the Philippine Senate seeking to declare November 25 of every year as the “National Consciousness Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women” in the Philippines. The Bill specifies activities that may be undertaken to mark the day. On 9 November, Senator Cayetano delivered a speech reminding her colleagues to prioritize the passage of the Bill and urging them to engage in activities to mark the Day on 25 November.
|Romania||The Chairperson of the Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men submitted a declaration to the Romanian Chamber of Deputies on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. In addition to this parliamentary statement to mark the 10th anniversary of the proclamation by the United Nations of 25 November as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, a mass media campaign was developed in order to raise awareness about the urgent need to end all forms of violence against women and girls.|
|Rwanda||On 20 November, the Deputy Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, Mr. Denis Polisi, delivered a speech to parliament calling for the elimination of violence against women. At the close of a parliamentary seminar on implementation of CEDAW, he said that Rwanda, the first country where women were in the majority in parliament, should « take all the necessary measures to eliminate all forms of violence against women ». He noted that although relevant legislation had recently been passed in his country, the real work today consisted of enforcing the law. He also presented recent statistics on the violence experienced by women in Rwanda and elsewhere and appealed to parliamentarians to get involved in the campaigns spearheaded by the IPU and the UN Secretary-General to put an end to this serious problem.|
On 25 November, the Chamber of Deputies adopted a declaration to mark the 10th anniversary of the International Day. The instrument encourages all Rwandans - men and women alike - to get to know about the law dealing with the prevention and repression of all forms of gender-based violence, which was passed by parliament and entered into force in April 2009.
|Saudi Arabia||During the period marking the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, the Consultative Council’s Committee on Social, Family and Youth Affairs completed its study of a bill to protect women and children from violence. This bill, which makes provision for all the measures needed to ensure the security, protection and treatment of female victims of violence as well as the punishment and rehabilitation of the perpetrators of such violence, is expected to be approved by the Consultative Council in the near future.|
|Spain||On 17 November, the Spanish Congress of Deputies Equality Committee adopted the report of the Subcommittee tasked with monitoring enforcement of the Organic Act on Integrated Protection Measures against Gender Violence. Based on hearings and numerous studies, the report is essentially an assessment of the work conducted by the Subcommittee over the past months. It outlines a series of recommendations to enhance application of the Act in the following sectors: education, prevention and sensitization, institutional and social support to victims of violence, judicial protection and law enforcement agents and security forces.|
|Sweden||The Swedish Parliament will organize a seminar on the elimination of violence against women on 25 November at its premises. The seminar will be open to members of parliament as well as the general public.|
|Switzerland||A seminar on combating violence against women, organized jointly by the Swiss Parliament and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), took place on 19 November at the Swiss Parliament. It was attended by Swiss parliamentarians, members of PACE, representatives of Swiss non-governmental organizations and officials from the Swiss federal administration. |
A meeting has been scheduled for 25 November between the Swiss Foreign Minister and women parliamentarians to discuss possible foreign policy measures aimed at eliminating violence against women.
In the course of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence Campaign, members of the Swiss Parliament will submit a number of motions to the government on this subject. On 10 December, at the end of the international campaign, the Speaker of the National Council will deliver a statement on the elimination of violence against women and the protection of human rights.
|Thailand||The National Assembly of Kingdom of Thailand organized two activities to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women 2009.|
On 24 November, Ms. Tassana Boontong, Second Vice-President of the Senate, delivered a speech to parliamentarians on “Legislative measurement to eliminate all forms of violence against women” at a parliamentary workshop, organized at the Suan Dusit Rajabhat University by the Senate’s Standing Committee on Social Development and Children, Youth, Women, the Elderly, the Disabled and Underprivileged Affairs. The workshop was also chaired by government officials and representatives of non-governmental organizations working in the fields of gender equality, women, children and youth, as well as relevant associations. The event was open to the general public and the media. There was a discussion on the law to combat violence against women, which will be submitted shortly to the National Assembly for study and debate.
On 25 November, an exhibition was held at the Parliament Hall entitled “Violence against women: Who will stop it?” organized by the Standing Committee on Children, Youth, Women, the Elderly and the Disabled of the House of Representatives. The moderator, one of the most famous women TV presenters, led two roundtable debates. The first was a discussion among journalists, representatives of the police service and Mrs. Pusadee Tamthai, Deputy Chairperson of the above-mentioned Committee and member of the IPU Governing Council. The other was a seminar for experts from the Association for the Promotion of the Status of Women, the Women Lawyers’ Association of Thailand, the Friends of Women Foundation, the Ministry of Public Health, and the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security. The debates were broadcast live on television and on the Internet.
|The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia||The Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men of the Assembly of the Republic will organize a special session on 25 November 2009 to mark the 10th anniversary of the proclamation by the United Nations of 25 November as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. The members and the substitute members of the Committee will participate in the session, as well as officials from the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy and representatives of the European Commission (EC), the United Nations Development Fund (UNDP), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). The session will be open to the media|
Members of parliament, the Vice-President of the Pan-African Parliament and representatives of the East African Legislative Assembly and civil society organizations attended the ceremony, which was a collaborative effort by the Uganda Women's Parliamentary Association (UWOPA), Uganda's Women's Net Work (UWONET) and CARE. A delegation of 200 men and women from the Acholi region in northern Uganda travelled to Kampala especially for the occasion.
The Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Edward Ssekandi, addressed the event and committed to passing new legislation to protect women and girls. Participants signed the petition “Say NO – UNiTE to end Violence against Women”, initiated by UNIFEM as a way of advancing the objectives of the UN Secretary-General’s campaign UNiTE to end Violence against Women and Girls.
|United Arab Emirates||To mark the 10th anniversary of the formal proclamation by the United Nations of 25 November as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, the issue of combating violence against women was the focus of the speech delivered by the Speaker of the Federal National Council at the opening of the third parliamentary term.The Speaker urged women and men parliamentarians to work with civil society organizations and national institutions with a view to undertaking joint actions to raise awareness of this issue, its enormous social cost and its negative consequences on national development. He also emphasized the important role of parliamentarians in mobilizing society in the fight against all forms of violence and discrimination against women.|
|Uruguay||On 25 November, as a symbol of the fight against domestic violence, the bicameral Caucus of Women Parliamentarians joined the Lilac Ribbon Campaign sponsored by the Uruguayan Network against Domestic and Sexual Violence.
In addition, information about the IPU’s Parliaments Take Action on Violence against Women campaign were posted on the home page of the official website of the Parliament of Uruguay.|
|Yemen||The House of Representatives organized a seminar on 25 November to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Yahya Ali AL-Raee, addressed the event. The Yemeni Women's Union and representatives of the United Nations, the European Union and NGOs were in attendance.|
|East African Legislative Assembly||At its 72nd sitting held on 17 November, the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) adopted a resolution to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. The resolution of the Assembly urges the East African Community (EAC) and Partner States to take urgent and concerted action to end violence against women in the EAC region and particularly the Partner States.|
|Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE)|
On 8 September 2009 in Paris, the Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe decided to invite all members of its network of contact parliamentarians committed to combating violence against women to join the IPU initiative to mark the 10th anniversary of the International Day by organizing a parliamentary event. These contact parliamentarians are appointed by 40 national parliaments and parliamentary assemblies in Europe. They were involved in the parliamentary dimension of the Council of Europe campaign to combat Violence against Women, including Domestic Violence (2006 – 2008), and were renewed in 2009 to pursue the PACE action to combat violence against women.
Also: "Impunity for violence against women must end" - Statement by Lluís Maria de Puig, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (APCE), on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (Bern, 20 November 2009)
Declaration of the PACE President [PDF]
|Parliamentary Confederation of the Americas (COPA)||In a resolution adopted at its 9th General Assembly held in Salta (Argentina), from 14 to 20 September 2009, COPA pledged to join forces with the IPU’s campaign “Parliaments Take Action on Violence against Women” to commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. To that end, it encouraged the leadership of its member parliaments to organize events highlighting the importance of combating violence against women.|