WHO derived data confirms that for the past decade, one in three women worldwide has endured physical or sexual violence, primarily at the hands of an intimate partner. This violence often begins at a young age, with one in four young women (aged 15-24 years) who have been in a relationship already experiencing violence from an intimate partner by the time they reach their mid-twenties. As part of their Shadow Pandemic public awareness campaign, UN Women (the UN entity dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women) confirms that all types of violence against women and girls, particularly domestic violence, intensified since the pandemic.
The Irish Consortium of Gender Based Violence (ICGBV), an Irish based alliance of international human rights, humanitarian, and development organisations, comprising INGO’s (including GOAL, Trocaire, Oxfam, World Vision and other), Irish Aid and the Irish Defence Forces, works to increase knowledge and understanding of violence against women and girls. Consortium members aim to achieve this by leveraging the Consortium’s Strategic Plan (2021 – 2026), which focuses on amplifying women’s voices and Survivor Centered Accountability.
This week the Consortium announced the appointment of Siobhán Walsh, CEO of the international humanitarian response agency GOAL Global, as the new Chair of the ICGBV for the next two years. In addition, GOAL will host the Consortium in GOAL’s Dublin based HQ for the next two years.
Speaking about her new appointment as ICGBV Chair, Siobhan Walsh said “I am honored to lead this critical initiative. In partnership with the Consortium members and underpinned by constant knowledge sharing, my hope is that we collectively strengthen our commitment to gender equality, advance best practices, and reduction in GBV and drive the ultimate eradication of violence, particularly GBV.’
GOAL, a dedicated member of the ICGBV since its inception, has consistently championed the rights of women and girls. In GOAL’s Strategy 2025, the agency emphasizes its commitment to supporting vulnerable communities in fragile and conflict-affected regions, partnering with donors and local stakeholders to help move these communities from crisis to resilience, and with a strong emphasis on empowering women and girls. One of GOAL’s approaches in this area, involves partnering with Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) and prioritising women and youth, all aimed at achieving sustainable growth in climate-smart food production and enhancing market linkages.
Siobhan Walsh has 30+ years’ experience in the set-up, development, and management of NGOs and took up her post as CEO of GOAL in 2018 and has long been an unwavering advocate for gender equality.