The Online launch provided a platform for regional discussions based on experience-sharing, and exchange of good practices. It also provided a space for national observatories in the region to reflect the importance of knowledge production, and the collection of data on the prevalence and trends of VAWG in order to support evidence-based decision making. The Speakers highlighted the importance of this Regional Index, and the ways to support governments in monitoring their progress in relation to combating VAWG. Speakers asserted the importance of cooperation among observatories in the region for enhancing and improving data collection as a tool to encourage women to speak up and accumulate the political will for change of legislation.
Ms. Lilian Halls-French, Sociologist and consultant with the RCSO presented the main findings the Regional Study on VAWG in South Mediterranean region. The study aimed at identifying women's personal experience, awareness and perception regarding VAWG. It also aimed to know the perceptions of privileged observers on the national laws and existing services to tackle VAWG as well as the international agreements, including the 4th UfM Ministerial Declaration.
Mr. Thaker Al Zghool, Researcher in the RCSO presented the Regional Index. The overall goal of the index is to provide global documentation on laws, public policies and services related to Violence against women and girls (VAWG) and Women, Peace and Security (WPS) in each project country and. The index relied mostly on governmental sources of the studied countries, which are: Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia, while also using standardized sources of information for all countries to ensure accuracy and consistency amongst all indicators.
The participants discussed recommendations to improve data collection in the region, and different tools to better collectively address the challenges identified by the RCSO through legislative change, policy-making and increased multi-actor cooperation, nationally and regionally. All participants agreed that supporting the role of the RCSO is essential in improving knowledge production as well as the production of reliable statistical information about the prevalence and trends on VAWG in the Southern Mediterranean.
The RCSO is an independent civil society mechanism to follow up and monitor the implementation of the recommendations of the 4th Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) Ministerial Declaration on women´s rights (2017). The RCSO falls under the frame of a three-year regional project implemented by EFI and a consortium of 9 women’s rights member organizations under the title “Combating Violence against Women in the Southern Mediterranean Region”, funded by the EU.
You can learn more about the RCSO and the Regional Campaign on Zero Tolerance for Violence Against Women and Girls by visiting the Website and Social Media Channels: www.ostik.org, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.