“Invisibles No More”: Special Event on the occasion of the coming International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women 2023.
Rome, November 14 - Gender-based violence against women - physical, economic, cultural and psychological, including human trafficking, remains a worldwide scourge affecting millions of women. Worldwide, with statistics varying considerably from country to country, 35 per cent of women between 15-49 years of age have experienced physical and/ or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence, and in 38 per cent of the cases of women’s murders, the perpetrator has been their partner. Hundreds of millions of girls are at risk of slavery, mutilations, prostitution and/or forced and/or early marriage. These are just a few examples of the dramatic situation.
The World Union of Catholic Women's Organisations (WUCWO) and its World Women's Observatory (WWO), together with Talitha Kum, united by their commitment to defending the dignity and rights of women, in particular the most fragile and invisible in the eyes of the world, commemorated together, with a special event, the upcoming International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1999.
The initiative, which aim was to draw attention to gender-based violence and the crucial importance of networks for prevention and support between and for women, took place on 14 November 2023 at the Regina Mundi Hall, of the UISG, in Piazza di Ponte Sant'Angelo 28 Rome at 2 p.m. It was also possible to participate online via Zoom. The event counted on simultaneous translations in English, Spanish, French and Italian.
The programme included the opening addresses by Sr. Abby Avelino, International Coordinator of Talitha Kum and Mónica Santamarina, President General of WUCWO and WWO, who explained the significance of the event.
The keynote speech was lead by Sr. Jean Quinn, Executive Director of UNANIMA International, a coalition of congregations of women religious with members on all continents committed to work for peace and human dignity.
The screening of the documentary "InVisibles" followed. This documentary is the living testimony of women who, thanks to the support of other women, have been able to be resilient and recover. The aim is to have a formal commitment of, as many people as possible, united against gender violence by becoming "InVisibles Ambassadors".
A panel discussion saw the participation of an exceptional group of speakers: economist Sr. Alessandra Smerilli, Secretary of the Dicastery for the Service of Integral Human Development, H.E. Chiara Porro, Ambassador of Australia to the Holy See, Sr. Jane Wakahiu, VP Program Operations, Hilton Foundation, Film Director Lia Beltrami, and Sr. Maureen Ogundeph, WWO Community Manager in Africa.
The dialogue session, led by the moderator Alessandra Tarquini of the Global Solidarity Fund was a moment of deepening and exchange of ideas and netrowking.