All posts by Áine Hanrahan

 

International human rights and humanitarian org leaders and Irish Defence Forces representatives meet in Dublin today to pledge sustained action on global GBV eradication

One in three women worldwide has endured physical or sexual violence over the past decade.

(February 20, 2024) 14 CEOs representing the Irish Consortium of Gender-Based Violence (ICGBV) membership met at the Department of Foreign Affairs today for the annual Leaders Roundtable meeting. At this meeting, the leaders from international human rights, humanitarian, and development organisations comprising INGOs (including Trócaire, Oxfam, GOAL, Christian Aid and others), Irish Aid and the Irish Defence Forces, reviewed progress on implementation of the Consortium’s Strategic Plan (2021 – 2026), which focuses on the prevention and mitigation of, and response to gender based violence (GBV), and reaffirmed their commitment to sustained action at eradicating this global pandemic, which pervades every country and culture across the world.

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.

Leaders committed to amplifying the voices of those affected by GBV, and championing support for women-centred and women-led grassroots organisations.  By giving women more opportunities to influence policy and practice, the Consortium strengthens Ireland’s commitment to 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, especially SDG 5: Achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls.

Closing the Roundtable, Seán Fleming, Minister of State, Department of Foreign Affairs, with special responsibility for International Development and Diaspora, expressed his appreciation on the progress being made by the Consortium.

With development financing to end violence against women and girls remaining at less that 1% of ODA, Siobhan Walsh, CEO of GOAL Global and ICGBV Chair, said,

“Given the global crisis of Gender Based Violence, the ICGBV advocates for an increase in funding allocated to tackle GBV. We have to turn the tide on this crisis and to do this; we need to ask Governments to sustain and increase their support.’

Established in 2005, the ICGBV is an Irish-based alliance of international human rights, humanitarian, and development organisations which 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 Cantered Accountability.

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Strengthening Survivor Centred Accountability for Gender Based Violence

On the 7th December, 2023 the Irish Consortium on Gender Based Violence held their annual event for the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence. The focus of this event was on the key theme of the Consortiums Strategic Plan – Survivor Centred Accountability. It explored the following topics:

1. Developing a holistic model of survivor centred accountability

2. Exploring Informal Justice Systems

3. Strengthening national and international influencing and advocacy

For subtitles, please press the ‘CC’ button to turn them on.

At this event, we highlighted the importance of centring survivors in our GBV advocacy, prevention, and intervention-related work. Siobhán Walsh, CEO, GOAL shared an Opening Address, and Paisley Dodds, Investigations Editor for the The New Humanitarian, moderated the discussion.

A statement from the Patron of the Consortium, President Michael D Higgins, was shared and can be read here.

The excellent speakers of this event includes:

– Daniel Kettor, Rainbo Initiative representing the Irish Working Group on Gender Based Violence in Sierra Leone

– Iheoma Obibi, Alliances for Africa representing Solidarity of African Womens Rights

– Mary-Louise Lynch, Survivors Informing Services and Institutions (SiSi) Ireland

– Lingalireni Mihowa, Oxfam representing the Malawi Irish Consortium on Gender Based Violence (MICGBV)

 

Strengthening Survivor Centred Accountability for Gender Based Violence

Join us for the Irish Consortium on Gender Based Violence virtual event ‘Strengthening Survivor-Centred Accountability for Gender-Based Violence’

📆 Thursday, December 7th
⏱ 3 pm (Irish / UK time)
🔗 Please register here

At this event, we will highlight the importance of centring survivors in our GBV advocacy, prevention, and intervention-related work.

Siobhan Walsh, CEO, GOAL Global will deliver the Opening Address, and Paisley Dodds, Investigations Editor, The New Humanitarian, will moderate the discussion.

 

Women’s Voices – Women’s Voices on Women, Peace and Security

Women’s Voices on Women Peace and Security

Women’s Voices on Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) Position Paper launched by ICGBV in tandem with  UN Security Council WPS Open Debate

The Irish Consortium on Gender Based Violence (ICGBV) are launching their paper titled ‘Women’s Voices: Local Women’s Voices on Women, Peace and Security.’ Speaking at the launch of the Irish Consortium on Gender Based Violence position paper on Women, Peace and Security about the importance of the ICGBV Listening Sessions and delivery of the Consortium’s Women, Peace and Security  Position Paper, Mary Van Lieshout, GOAL’s Director of External Relations and ICGBV Steering Committee member said,

‘This paper summarises the learnings from a series of Listening Sessions with global women’s human rights activists working to end Gender Based Violence. The sessions provided an excellent platform for local female civil society leaders to give first-hand information on the reality for women and girls in fragile and conflict affected contexts.  It is allowing Ireland to incorporate these learnings into recommendations that are brought to IEG meetings at Council level’

We would like to thank the key authors and contributors to developing this paper; the women and civil society speakers who shared with us their lived realities, Jule Zeschky, Áine Hanrahan, Abby Ryan, Jennifer McCarthy Flynn and all of the ICGBV members.

The ‘Women’s Voices’ Position Paper focuses on eight areas in the Women, Peace, and Security domain with associated recommendations for each.

  1. Women and girls should have full, equal, and safe participation in all areas of society.
  2. Women and girls, in all their diversity, should be heard and included in Women, Peace, and Security recommendations and policy development.
  3. Regionally diverse women and girls should be included and acknowledged when addressing Women, Peace, and Security.
  4. National Action Plans on Women’s Peace and Security should be developed in all UN member states and these Plans should be developed in collaboration with women, girls and women-led organisations.
  5. The Global Community should advocate with the greatest urgency for inclusive justice, medical services for survivors of gender-based violence.
  6. There is a need to include the food security issues of women and girls when addressing Women Peace and Security.
  7. The Global Community working on Women, Peace and Security should advocate for safe and accountable legal pathways for survivors and all perpetrators of violence must be held accountable and brought to justice.
  8. Intentional investment should be directed into local women-led and women-focused civil society organisations through partnering, funding, supporting and capacity building.

The ICGBV is an alliance of Irish human rights, humanitarian and development organisations, Irish Aid, and the Irish Defence Forces. The Consortium was formed in 2005 to address the high levels of sexual violence that is perpetrated in international conflict and crisis situations. Its members include ActionAid Ireland, Aidlink, Christian Aid Ireland, Concern Worldwide, Irish Defence Forces, GOAL, Ifrah Foundation, Irish Aid, Irish Red Cross, Oxfam Ireland, Plan International Ireland, Self Help Africa, Trócaire and World Vision Ireland.

Following Ireland and Mexico’s appointment to the UN Security Council in 2021 and co-chairing of the Security Council’ Informal Expert Group (IEG) on Women, Peace, and Security, the ICGBV began hosting Listening Sessions. These Sessions were offered to staff at the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs, ICGBV members and the Permanent Mission of Ireland to the UN, with female civil society members from conflict affected countries. The ICGBV Women’s Voices – Local Voices on Women, Peace and Security Position Paper is the key output from the Listening Sessions and highlights issues that require strengthening in the IEG work at UN Security Council level.

The IEG brings together Security Council experts to facilitate a systematic approach to Women, Peace and Security within the Council’s work and enable greater oversight and coordination of implementation efforts. The IEG hosts approximately nine sessions a year on conflict-affected countries, meeting with the UN Country Resident Coordinator and/or Heads of UN Agencies present in the country.

Please visit https://www.gbv.ie/

 

ICGBV announces the appointment of GOAL CEO, Siobhan Walsh as new Consortium Chairperson to continue to drive gender equality and reduction in GBV.

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[1]. 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[2].

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.

The Gender Based Violence (GBV) Shadow Pandemic pervades every country and culture across the world.

[1] https://www.who.int/news/item/09-03-2021-devastatingly-pervasive-1-in-3-women-globally-experience-violence

[2] https://www.unwomen.org/en/news/in-focus/in-focus-gender-equality-in-covid-19-response/violence-against-women-during-covid-19

 

CSW67 Side Event – Gender Based Violence and Technology Risks Opportunities and Challenge

The Irish Consortium on Gender Based Violence hosted a Side Event for the 67th Commission on the Status of Women titled ‘Gender-Based Violence and Technology: Risks, Opportunities, Challenges.’

The event was organised with the Permanent Mission of Ireland to the United Nations, Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth and Department of Foreign Affairs. In conjunction with this event, the Consortium developed a policy paper: ‘Technology and GBV: Risk and Opportunities’ available here – https://www.gbv.ie/?p=1883

It was a powerful event, which was expertly introduced and moderated by Jennifer McCarthy Flynn, Coordinator of the Irish Consortium on Gender Based Violence.

The speakers were outstanding and represented a strong and diverse mix of women from the Global South as well as policy makers from Ireland and the EU. Minister Roderic O’Gorman and Ambassador Fergal Mythen represented the Government of Ireland.

Speakers included:

  • Jennifer McCarthy Flynn, ICGBV
  • Dr. Jennifer Okeke, National Women’s Council, Ireland
  • Rebecca Kallih, Rainbo Initiative, Sierra Leone
  • Hon. Neema Lugangari, Member of Parliament, Tanzania
  • Sarah Schlitz, Federal State Secretary for Gender Equality, Equal Opportunities and Diversity, Belgium

Video contributions were made by Ifrah Ahmed, IFRAH Foundation and Nisha Lama Karki, Action Aid Nepal and can be watched below:

 

16 Days 2022: Irelands time on UNSC

During 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence the Irish Consortium on Gender Based Violence hosted an event on the Ireland’s time on the United Nations Security Council and the role local women’s voices played in their mission.

Over 2021-2022, Ireland co-chaired the Informal Expert Group on Women, Peace and Security with Mexico. The Consortium organised listening sessions with women civil-society actors and the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs, Ireland to share local women’s perspectives ahead of the Informal Expert Group meetings.

Our excellent panelists included:

– Ambassador Fergal Mythen: Permanent Mission of Ireland to the United Nations

– Mona Ahmed al-Shawwa: Director of the Women’s Rights Unit of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights

– Leïla El Ali: Executive Director of Association Najdeh

– Charline Yakombo Epiphanie Bangbi: Assistant Project Manager Conflict, Gender, Disaster Risk Reduction for Concern Worldwide

– Pablo Castillo Diaz: Policy Specialist on Peace and Security at UN Women