Champions identify need for continuous and collective action to prevent Gender-based Violence

On 7 June, six IGC Champions convened online for a Time to Talk Conversation on Gender-based Violence (GBV). The session closed with a proposition to launch a new IGC Pledge on Gender-based Violence accompanied by a network-wide campaign to stand against sexism and all forms of GBV.

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka of UN Women, Ambassadors Valentin Zellweger of Switzerland to Kenya, Meirav Eilon Shahar of Israel to Geneva and Kirsti Kauppi of Finland to Geneva along with Serge Brammertz of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals and Monika Froehler of the Ban Ki-moon Foundation, all set personal IGC commitments related to GBV, together with 18 other Champions across the network.

The group of Champions asked what works best to create safe spaces in public and private spheres. How have Champions had to stand up against sexual harassment, sexist attitudes and behaviours, and handle such situations as leaders? Where are the leadership gaps?

The group also reflected on what actions Champions can take as individuals within their workplace and their work – in all their spheres of influence. This can include developing more robust laws and policies within the multi-lateral system and organisations, creating safe spaces or investing in education and campaigns, and ensuring parity in decision making.

Recognising that there is no one silver bullet to the issue of GBV, Champions identified the need for leadership at the highest level and at all levels to speak up against sexist attitudes and harmful gender stereotypes, to prevent gender-based violence and to end impunity.

All Champions agreed that the issue of GBV could never be exhausted at the highest level and requires continuous support and encouragement.  We ought to apply a zero-tolerance approach to all forms of violence, everywhere. The Secretariat is building on the suggestions during the conversation to develop a new network-wide pledge in consultation with the IGC Global Board.