Promoted by the National Council of the Prosecution Service (CNMP), through the Commission for the Protection of Fundamental Rights (CDDF), and the European Union, within the support of the Sector Dialogues Facility, the event aims to disseminate the results from using the National Risk Assessment and Life Protection Form (FRIDA), developedt o fight violence against women.
"We are here to discuss the fight against domestic violence against women. These talks cannot stop. We have to keep talking about it for as long as we have to. This partnership with the CNMP and the European Union Delegation to Brazil has led us to the implementation of FRIDA. What an extraordinary journey this has been," noted Minister of Women, Family and Human Rights Damares Alves, during the opening of the seminar.
For the EU Ambassador to Brazil, Ignacio Ybáñez, this "partnership with the CNMP is increasingly stronger". In his words, "domestic violence against women is the result of gender-based violence, which is why combating this type of aggression is a priority for the European Union. Gender equality is a crucial value for the EU". The ambassador presented an overview of EU investments in actions to fight gender-based violence, such as the Spotlight Initiative, a global partnership between the EU and the United Nations to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls. "We have several projects with Brazil, such as the Win-Win regional program: gender equality means good business, and the EUROsociAL programme," concluded Ybáñez.
Counsellor and CDDF President Valter Shuenquener talked about the initiative: "This is the third international seminar we have promoted on the same topic, which reveals the concern of the CNMP and the European Union Delegation to Brazil to have a structured, serious, well-coordinated and continuous collaboration. It is a nonpartisan project. We have had three federal attorneys general in office since we started these discussions, and there has always been unconditional support to discuss measures for preventing and confronting domestic violence against women".
After the efforts to improve the National Register of Domestic Violence and the implementation of measures for the introduction and dissemination of FRIDA, Shuenquener says that: "This year we are trying to discuss new trends in the prevention of and protection against domestic violence as well as the use of new technologies that can help improve these trends. Moreover, we want to bring all sectors of society into the public arena of debate. The more people involved in the discussion, the more chances of a successful outcome".
In addition to Damares Alves, Ignacio Ybáñez and Valter Shuenquener, there were other speakers in the opening ceremony, namely CNMP advisor Luciano Nunes Maia, representing Attorney General Augusto Aras; the secretary of Justice of the Federal District Gustavo Rocha; representative Elcione Barbalho; representative Soraya Santos; the interim representative of UN Women in Brazil, Ana Carolina Querino; and the deputy secretary of Brazil's Secretariat of Policies for Women, Rosinha da Adefal.
Representing Augusto Aras, advisor Luciano Nunes Maia emphasized that the current administration of the Federal Prosecution Service has given unconditional support to all commissions in the CNMP. "Domestic violence is a serious social issue, not only in Brazil but worldwide. This seminar is very important to make us reflect upon and face the challenges to preventing violence against women. In this sense, FRIDA is an initiative that deserves all the attention. It is worth noting that the CDDF has promoted courses and discussions in an effort to improve public institutions that combat domestic violence against women", added the counsellor.
Ana Carolina Querino called attention to the fact that the event was taking place during the international campaign named "16 Days of Activism for the End of Violence against Women". She also stressed that it is necessary to share and bring efforts together to fight the phenomenon of violence against women. "Women from various walks of life experience varied forms of violence," said Querino. In turn, Rosinha da Adefal called upon society to fight against this phenomenon: "We have the arduous mission of fighting for our lives, which are at risk in the very places where we should feel the safest. We need to join forces to change this reality".
Federal Representative Soraya Santos argued that the dignity of women does not need to be protected since it is already inscribed in Article 5 of Brazil’s Federal Constitution: "We cannot allow this affront to the Constitution to go on in Brazil. We need to drive change and support initiatives". Representative Elcione Barbalho also brought attention to the relevance of women's participation in the electoral process. "We need to honour the 53% female electorate in Brazil. We must demand respect because we are part of a society and we have to come together".
Also present at the ceremony were advisor Silvio Amorim and the general secretary of the CNMP, Maurício Andreioulo.
Call 180 Helpline: Cooperation Agreements
Following the opening speeches, two technical cooperation agreements were signed. In one of the agreements, Minister Damares Alves and Avon President, José Vicente Marino, formalized the cooperation between the Ministry of Women, Family and Human Rights (MMFDH) and the Avon Institute to concert efforts to combat violence against women, specially domestic violence. Avon products will carry the Call 180 Helpline (Ligue 180) campaign logo on their packages. The second agreement was signed between the MMFDH and the Fortlev Group. Within the support of this technical cooperation, Fortlev will promote two helplines by using the campaign logos on the company’s water tanks, Call 100 (Disque 100), a helpline for reporting human rights violations, and Call 180.
"I believe in the power of the Call 180 Helpline. It is a very important instrument. It is not just about receiving the complaint, but continuing the process and referring the complaint to the appropriate department," the minister said. Additionally, according to her: "The signature of technical cooperation agreements with Avon and Fortlev is proof that there is still a lot of work to be done. We can have creative ideas and seek partnerships. We have been working in favour of those women that are made to feel invisible. We have to keep debating and seeking alternatives".
Besides the dissemination of FRIDA's results, the program included panels to discuss trends, mechanisms and forms of action of the administration, the civil society and the private sector in their efforts to fight domestic violence against women.
Based on information from Secom/CNMP
Photos: Sergio Almeida (Secom/CNMP)
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