In the beginning of November, Ecumenical Women submitted our written joint statement to the UN. The statement allows us to clearly and publicly articulate the specific issues and areas within the priority theme we will focus our advocacy strategy.

Our three main priorities are:
Cultural, structural and economic violence are underlying factors that must be addressed
In order to eliminate violence against women, its root causes must be identified and dealt with. Cultural values are reflected in structural forms of violence, which work to perpetuate economic discrimination against women. Only when we address how these factors interact to create and sustain violence can we hope to change it.

Education is a vital part of the change process, especially societal change. Education must incorporate men and boys alongside women and girls
Education is fundamental in the prevention of violence against women and girls, but access must be improved. Education allows women to know and understand their rights, and promotes understanding throughout society as a whole, including among men and boys. Education helps to empower women as well as develop the skills essential for income-generation.

We must pay particular attention to the needs of rural and minority populations and improve their access to resources and services
The lack of access to resources and services leaves rural and minority populations especially vulnerable to violence of many sorts, including structural violence. All people have the right to access basic services and resources, and programs should be created and supported that promote the well-being of all people.

Check back for an update and the official statement once it is formally accepted and sent to UN Member States!