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To raise awareness of Violence Against Women (VAW), European Information Centre’s led by UNRIC are reaching out to the creative community to create a print ad that says: “No to Violence against Women”. The competition will be realized in cooperation with UN Women and is part of the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s UNiTE to End Violence Against Women campaign. The three prizes: Jury, Youth and Public prizes are donated by partners from three European Countries. Competition begins 8 March and ends 31 May. It is open to citizens and residents of 48 European countries. Everyone can vote.
|Date:||8 March 2011|
Create4theUN has selected its 30 finalists from 15 countries. View the top 30 ads at www.create4theun.org. Organized by the United Nations Regional Informational Centre (UNRIC) for Western Europe and UN Women, the competition Create4theUN received more than 2,700 entries from 40 countries. The winning entry will be selected by a jury and announced in October at a ceremony in Brussels.
There are just under 48h before we close the competition and open the public vote. So far we have received 1500 Ads from 40 countries in Europe, which is fantastic!
Can we make it to 2000 submissions? Get a few more countries involved? Help us by spreading the word among your friends and sharing your favorite Ads on your Twitter or Facebook.
Lastly, be sure to get as many votes as possible for your submission(s). For every vote received we will send it to be counted toward the Say NO Action counter. Your vote is your voice to Say NO!
We are nearing the finishing line and you have just under two weeks to send us your Ads saying: "No to Violence Against Women"
Since the beginning of the competition on 8 March, we have received over 750 Ads from 37 European countries.
Research from Norway shows that among the 25 professors that most often were quoted in the media in 2007 – only two were women. This raises the question of whether or not good female role models are portrayed through media. Another example comes from thematic studies in Norway on global warming. Research show that women were absent in articles on the subject, only 11 percent of the articles from the biggest Norwegian newspapers had a female leading voice.
While “Nora” wants reform of school policy, “Mr. Anderson” has participated in new negotiations. Debates in the Swedish media highlight how women are often referred to by their first names whereas men are referred to by their last name. When using first names, are women portrayed as independent and capable as men? Many argue that if we are equal, we should all be referred to in the same way. To overcome discrimination against women, we must raise awareness about how women are portrayed.
Efforts have been made in recent years to direct the focus towards journalists’ work as a factor in creating gender equality and fighting stereotypes. The EU report Beijing+15 acknowledges this when it stresses the need for better media education in schools (page 109):
The media’s power in contributing to gender equality must not be underestimated.
On April 12th, 2011, the UN Regional Information Centre in Brussels, in partnership with the Goethe Institute, organized an event about the sexual exploitation of children to mark the International Day for Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery. After the screening of the powerful documentary Redlight, which tells the stories of Cambodian children trafficked into prostitution, representatives of the European Women’s Lobby (EWL) and the Hungarian Women’s Lobby (HWL, a member of the EWL), together with a representative of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights were invited to engage in a discussion with the audience.
Trafficking is a channel to the systems of prostitution and therefore if there was no prostitution there would be no trafficking. Trafficking for sexual exploitation exists because there is a high demand for women and children in prostitution, and the only way to meet this demand is to “recruit” victims through using deception, lies, violence, force and/or the exploitation of another’s vulnerable situation. Although it is commonly held that prostitution is a ‘victimless crime’ and that most persons in prostitution are in it voluntarily without any physical, psychological or economic coercion, studies show the exact opposite to be the case. Moreover, since, globally, the average age of entering prostitution is 12-14 years, child prostitution – and prostitution in general – are grave and urgent problems.
The root cause of prostitution and other forms of sexual exploitation, as well as trafficking for this purpose, is inequality between women and men, compounded by ethnic and other socio-economic inequalities. Globally, women are reported to be victims in approximately 79% of trafficking cases (this includes all types of trafficking, including for labour exploitation and organs), while 79% of trafficking victims are subjected to sexual exploitation. Sexual exploitation and trafficking exist because it is acceptable for those in society with more power (adult men) to purchase and use those with less power (women and children, and among them especially – but not exclusively – ethnic minorities, the poor, the disabled, etc).
Sexual exploitation and trafficking for this purpose are driven by the demand for sexual services, therefore it is the demand that needs to be tackled if we are to effectively combat the phenomena. Sweden since 1999, and Norway and Iceland since 2009 have legislation criminalizing the purchase of sexual services. In Sweden, where the law has been in effect the longest, prostitution has been reduced and trafficking has been kept at bay (whereas both have risen dramatically in neighboring countries that do not tackle the demand in their legislation or policies). Importantly, the legislation has also affected societal attitudes, and most Swedes – especially the youth – reject the idea of purchasing another person for sex. Other countries, Including Ireland and France, are currently considering adopting similar legislation.
Research and contacts to local social workers and authorities in countries which attempt to regulate prostitution (legalizing the operation of brothels, the organizing of prostitution, in some cases pimping/procuring, etc.) have confirmed that this approach increases trafficking and organized crime surrounding the sex industry, worsens the situation of persons in prostitution in terms of their physical and mental health and social standing, and negatively affects attitudes among society in general regarding the roles of men and women, as the acceptance of prostitution and sexual exploitation is the acceptance of the subordinate role of women and children as sexual objects to be used and the superior position of men with money as those who can use them. This means that even if we as individuals are not direct victims of sexual exploitation or trafficking, we all suffer from their existence.
The EWL believes that all forms of prostitution must be tackled, in order to effectively protect our children from sexual exploitation. And this can be done now! It is a matter of each of us standing up against the system of prostitution and supporting abolitionist policies! Join or contribute to EWL campaign ‘Together for a Europe free from prostitution’.
Pierrette Pape joined the European Women’s Lobby in 2009. Working as Policy Officer and Project Coordinator