Women's Forum: Together for Girls Tackles Sexual Violence, December 21, 2013
Together for Girls is a global public-private partnership dedicated to eliminating sexual violence against children with a particular focus on girls. Launched at the Clinton Global Initiative, the partnership brings together five UN agencies including UNICEF, WHO, UN Women, UNAIDS, and UNFPA, the private sector through BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company), Nduna Foundation, Grupo ABC, CDC Foundation, and the U.S. Government through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, the U.S. Department of State, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Violence Prevention Division. Together for Girls focuses on three pillars: National surveys and data to document the magnitude and impact of sexual violence, particularly focused on girls, to inform government leaders, civil society and donors. Surveys have been completed in Swaziland and Tanzania, and are in process in Kenya, Zimbabwe and Haiti. Surveys are in the planning stage in Malawi, Cambodia and the Philippines with a number of other countries also expressing interest. Evidence-based coordinated program actions in countries to address issues identified through the surveys, including legal and policy reform, prevention of sexual violence and improved services for children who have experienced sexual violence. In Tanzania the government has launched a national action plan to address the problem across sectors, and in Swaziland resultant reforms included improving services for children who experience violence and the recent passage the Child Welfare Bill and the Domestic Violence and Sexual Offenses Bill. Global advocacy and public awareness efforts to draw attention to the problem and promote evidence-based solutions. In addition, developing and strengthening the capacity of individuals and institutions is an important cross-cutting element of the partnership. Working with governments and civil society, the Together for Girls model builds on existing programs and platforms where possible to integrate the issue of sexual violence into social welfare, health, education, and justice programs.
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