On 25th November 2016, to celebrate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, the Commonwealth Secretariat hosted a Round-table discussion and screening of a short film “Nancy A One Girl Revolution” for their event Empowering girls and women: The role of health and education in eliminating violence against women. The High Commission’s Education Counselor, Mrs. Margaret Lesuuda represented the High Commissioner, H.E Amb. Lazarus Amayo.
The event examined psychological and physical health effects that acts of violence, such as FGM have on women and girls, discussed the role of health and education in eliminating violence against women as well as how to explore Commonwealth’s work in this area and identify opportunities to collaborate on action to end to all forms of gender-based violence.
The Education Counsellor Mrs. Margaret Lesuuda made the following remarks;
- FGM is reducing drastically in Kenya with the implementation of policies and legislations such as the FGM Act, Children’s Act and the Second Care Act.
- That it was the responsibility of all countries to encourage individual activism against violence against women and providing children with the avenues and voice for standing up against such abuses.
- That there was a need of integrating Academic Research with practical advocacy and activism in Commonwealth with a view to eliminate Violence Against Women and DFID could help by providing funding to Commonwealth Universities.
- That there was need for Commonwealth to visit some of its member countries whose FGM is practiced so as to appreciate Governments efforts as well as borrow best practices.
She thanked the Commonwealth for screening such a strong film that deserve to be shown in every school.
In the Panel discussion, the Secretary General, Baroness Scotland thanked the many actors in the Commonwealth who passionately fought to eliminate VAW. She stated the need to “always speak out loudly with one Commonwealth voice and vow – “No silence on violence”.
She particularly singled out Nancy Tomee, whose activism on FGM in led to the documentary film, “Nancy: A One Girl Revolution” highlights this issue through the story of
Nancy, a Kenyan Pokot girl. Nancy resisted FGM and is now leading a movement to empower girls and women and end FGM and child marriage. For six years, film maker Sara Nason has followed her progression from rebellious school girl, resisting FGM and early marriage, to accomplished campaigner and role model for her generation. – See more at:
Dr Joanna Nurse the Head of the Health and Education Unit stressed the role of health and education citing that Commonwealth plan to end violence against women and girls and promote gender equality. –
See more at: http://thecommonwealth.org/media/event/empowering-girls-and-women-role-health-and-education-eliminating-violence-against-women#sthash.Ym7UqYma.dpuf
The Panelists included:
- Commonwealth Secretary-General Baroness Scotland
- Kenyan High Commission education Counsellor Mrs Margaret Lesuuda, who was representing the High Commissioner H.E Lazarus Amayo.
- Chief Scientific advisor and director of research and evidence at DFID, Professor Charlotte Watts Commonwealth Girls Education Fund ambassador, Ladi Dariya. British author and broadcaster, Carole Stone, will moderate the discussion.
- Ms Sara Nason, award wining documentary filmmaker.
- Mrs Judith Fischer, lifelong contributor to projects to alleviate poverty and promote peace.
- Ms Ladi Dariya, Commonwealth Girls Education Fund ambassador