On 14 October 2015, during the European Week of Action for Girls at the European Parliament in Brussels, the WFC co-organised a roundtable event on “Girls and the Sustainable Development Goals: where do we stand?”. The WFC Youth Ambassador, Kehkashan Basu, participated in the event as a panellist. In a powerful speech, Kehkashan highlighted the importance of gender equality to achieve a sustainable future.
On the International Day of Peace, our Councillors Scilla Elworthy, Thais Corral, Rama Mani and Anda Filip led a discussion on “Women’s Strategies for Peace for Future Generations” at the UN office in Geneva. For further information click here.
On 20 May 2015, Director Alexandra Wandel and Senior Project Manager Karin Heisecke were invited to present the work of the World Future Council and the Future Policy Award 2014 winners to the five ZONTA Clubs in Hamburg.
The WFC coordinated an NGO statement on the occasion of the election of the members of the “Group of Experts on Action against Violence against Women and Domestic Violence” (GREVIO) in May 2015, which is the monitoring instrument of the Istanbul Convention. This statement, signed by 9 NGOs, was sent out to the 15 States Parties to the Convention taking part in the GREVIO elections as well as to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe on April 28th-30th.
The WFC participated in the European Union’s Forum on the Future of Gender Equality in Brussels. The Forum was organized by the EU Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, Vĕra Jourová, as part of a stakeholder consultation process around the equality of women and men in the EU. The aim of the forum was to identify issues and priorities for policy interventions, and to develop concrete policy proposals.
On 16 – 17 April 2015, 90 Parliamentarians from 50 countries and experts, representatives of international organisations and civil society gathered at the German development ministry in Berlin for “She Matters: The 2015 International G7/G20 Parliamentarians’ Conference – Empowering women and girls to lead self-determined, healthy and productive lives”. WFC partnered with the organisers – the European Parliamentary Forum on Population and Development (EPF), Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevölkerung (DSW) and the German All Party Parliamentarians’ Group on Population and Development for this conference. Karin Heisecke, Senior Project Manager, participated as a speaker in the session “Addressing violence against women and girls – Guaranteeing women and girls’ safety and bodily integrity”. Delegates adopted a very ambitious appeal, calling the G7/G20 to step up their commitment to sexual and reproductive health and rights, gender equality, and women’s and girls’ human rights.
The WFC was also invited to address the Council meeting of the European Parliamentary Forum on Population and Development (EPF) on 18 April 2015. EPF invited the WFC to provide expertise and support their work notably on ratification and implementation of the Council of Europe’s Istanbul Convention (the Vision Future Policy Award 2014 winner), in particular in ensuring a strong role for national Parliaments in the monitoring of implementation.
The FPA Gold winner, Coordinated Community Response to Domestic Violence (the Duluth Model), was promoted by the WFC in partnership with the Advocates for Human Rights at the 59th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in New York in March 2015, with the organisation of a parallel event on “Effective Responses to Violence against Women: Coordinated Community Response”.
- Effective Responses to Violence against Women: Coordinated Community Response at the UN Commission on the Status of Women in New York, March 2015.
The WFC participated in a hearing at the European Parliament (EP) organised by MEP Malin Björk on 4 March 2015 on the occasion of International Women’s Day: “Living lives free from gender-based violence – women’s self-defence as a strategy for empowerment and prevention of violence against women and girls.” Karin Heisecke, Senior Project Manager, was a speaker at the session on “feminist self-defence as tool to prevent violence against women and girls.”
- International Women’s Day. Women’s self-defence as a strategy for empowerment. 4 March (European United Left/Nordic Green Left – European Parliamentary Group).
The WFC convened a meeting on February 9 in Brussels of 10 European NGOs and network organisations that are engaged in advocacy for the Istanbul Convention at the European level, to strategically join forces to advance signature, ratification and a strong monitoring mechanism of the Convention. The participants of the meeting highly appreciated the opportunity to strategise jointly and committed to work together in the future, as this was the first time that the organisations came together in that way. A follow-up meeting of the network took place in Brussels on April 22.
At the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on 25 November 2014, the WFC and UN Women co-hosted the discussion about “Violence against Women: Best Laws and Policies – Learning from the winners of the 2014 Future Policy Award” at the UN Headquarters in New York. Alexandra Wandel, WFC Director, chaired the session that brought together the Executive Director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, and the President of the IPU’s Coordinating Committee of Women Parliamentarians, Margaret Mensah-Williams, as well as representatives of the FPA winners: Marja Ruotanen (Council of Europe), Michael Paymar (Minnesota House of Representatives), Melissa Scaia (Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs Duluth), Andreas Riecken (Permanent Mission of Austria to the United Nations) and Nafissatou J Diop (UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Programme on FGM/C).