The Regional Civil Society Observatory (RCSO) on Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) is an independent civil society mechanism that aims essentially to follow up on the implementation of the 4th Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) Ministerial Declaration on strengthening the role of Women in Society, particularly in the area of VAWG, Women, Peace and Security (WPS) and Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE). RCSO also strives to the inclusion of women’s rights and ending VAWG in national legislation and policy debates, and social acknowledgment of women as actors of national security and PVE.
For these purposes and to support informed decisions, RCSO works on providing global documentation of the state of legislation and public policies and the alignment with international agreements through communicating with decision makers and civil society, gathering data, and conducting researches by using different quantitative and qualitative methodologies.
South Mediterranean countries in which gender equality is secured and all legislation are zero tolerant towards violence against women and girls.
ABOUT THE UNION FOR THE MEDITERRANEAN (UFM) 4TH MINISTERIAL DECLARATION ON STRENGTHENING THE ROLE OF WOMEN IN SOCIETY
The 4th UfM Ministerial Conference on Strengthening the Role of Women in Society was held in Cairo on 27 November 2017 in which the countries adopted a strong Ministerial Declaration based on the regional dialogue recommendations. During the conference, the ministers agreed to promote the following action plans:
Raising women’s participation in public life and decision-making.
Raising women's economic participation.
Combating all forms of VAWG.
Challenging cultural and social norms and eliminate gender stereotypes, particularly in and through education and media.
Fostering implementation and strengthening operational cooperation.
The Declaration constitutes an ambitious road map towards achieving gender equality and women empowerment in the Euro-Mediterranean region. In light of these developments, the countries agreed to establish a follow-up mechanism backed-up with indicators to monitor progress, evaluate the gender gap, and provide recommendations to policymakers and stakeholders, in order to improve the impact on women and girls. Ministers recommended that the mechanism be implemented in complementarity and coordination with the existing gender-mechanisms and schemes in the region.