United Nations: Social Good Summit Addresses Approaches to End Violence Against Women and Children
Friday, September 27, 2013 12:00 PM

At the Social Good Summit, a group of panelists came together to discuss violence against women and children. Members included Executive Director of UNICEF Anthony Lake, former child soldier and activist Ishmael Beah, journalist and co-founder of Man Up  Jimmie Briggs, and co-founder and Director of HarassMap, Rebecca Chiao. One topic of discussion was how technology can be a powerful tool in ending violence against women and children. During the panel, Chiao announced that there is now over 100% mobile penetration in Egypt, meaning that every cell phone can be used to report gender based violence. HarassMap is an online and mobile phone reporting system that can notify bystanders and mobilize them to help when harassment is occurring. HarassMap especially benefits women in more remote areas. It is being replicated in 25 countires, with nine that have already launched the program. UNICEF has an #EndViolence campaign that aims at using social media as a tool to change social norms that allow violence against women and children to occur.

Another topic during the summit was how to think about violence against women and children.  The panelists said there is a need to think of violence against women and children in a broader context than just physical violence. Emotional violence, prostitution, child soldiering, and trafficking need to be added in the definition.  They also spoke about how it is necessary to engage people on all levels, including personal, local, and international. This way, constant conversation can begin to change social norms and policies about the way violence against women and children is addressed, prevented, and punished.

 Compiled From: Penelope Chester, New Tools and Approaches to Ending Violence Against Women and Children, UN Dispatch  (September 24, 2013).