The United Nations Joint Global Programme on Essential Services for Women and Girls Subject to Violence offers valuable guidance to governments and civil society throughout the world in making health, social services, police and justice services available to women and girls who are victims of violence. The role of Global Rights for Women was to create guidelines for coordination and governance of the essential services, based on internationally recognized best practices. In June 2015, Cheryl Thomas led a global consultation meeting in Madrid hosted by UN Women, UNODC, and UNFPA. Over 50 leaders from 30 countries participated in the discussions of guidelines for coordination and governance. (Visit our Facebook post for pictures of the event.) Global Rights for Women staff and volunteers prepared the background paper for the Madrid meeting and had a leading role in drafting Module 5 of the programme, Essential actions for coordination and governance of coordination. Global Rights for Women is now finalizing a module on Coordination Responses to Violence Against Women and Girls for UN Women’s Virtual Knowledge Centre to End Violence Against Women and Girls.

Global Rights for Women contributed to a report by the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, Addendum to the Human Right Council Thematic Report, published on June 10, 2015. The addendum discusses the International Violence against Women Act (I-VAWA) as a mechanism to address the normative gaps in legal frameworks on violence against women. Special Rapporteur Rashida Manjoo presented the report in June 2015 to the United Nation’s Human Rights Council in Geneva.

The annual UN Commission on the Status of Women(CSW) conference is an two-week long event, held in New York City, that includes official meetings, presentations and workshops by UN agencies, government delegations and NGOs. Global Rights for Women is a frequent participant in CSW, hosting presentations and participating in panel discussions. In 2015 (CSW59) our participation focused on strengthening international legal standards on violence against women and the emerging issue of cyber violence. To read more about our participation at CSW59 take a look at our blog post, “Don’t Feed the Trolls.” In 2016 (CSW60) we hosted a session on combatting sexual violence, take a look at our blog post, “The Power of Convening: A Reflection on CSW 2016” for more on our work at CSW60.