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Convenings in Colorado and Canada: Global Rights for Women and #MeToo

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Convenings in Canada and Colorado: Global Rights for Women and the #MeToo Movement

The #MeToo movement has been a catalyst for change in law and policy on violence against women – the core of GRW’s mision. In June and July, Cheryl Thomas traveled to convenings in Vancouver and Crested Butte, Colorado where the #MeToo movement was a highlight of discussion.

August 12th, 2019
By Cheryl Thomas 

Suzanne Joyce (left) and GRW CEO Cheryl Thomas (right) are pictured together in Crested Butte, Colorado

In Vancouver, Cheryl was invited by UN Women to participate in the Women Deliver Conference and speak about ‘Community Action to End Violence against Women and Girls’.  Over nine thousand women gathered in Vancouver to share strategies to promote women’s human rights. Participants from Papua New Guinea, Gabon, Argentina, Kenya and many other countries described how women are rejecting shame, blame and silence, telling their stories, and demanding accountability through the enforcement of laws. African women described how history reflects that concrete change is a result of women mobilizing and telling personal stories. An activist shared how the Maputo Protocol, adopted by the African Union in 2003, calls on governments to take action to end discrimination and violence. This treaty was implemented as a result of women joining together to demand change as #MeToo does today. A participant from Lebanon explained how women’s voices are a “new form of power” in her country.  A Canadian judge described recent efforts for mandatory trainings for judges on violence against women and girls. A U.S.-based private foundation acknowledged the need to ensure there are resources to sustain this historic #MeToo movement.

In Colorado, Cheryl presented to the Crested Butte Policy Forum at the invitation of GRW supporter Suzanne Joyce on the growing international impact of #MeToo. Her presentation to over 200 guests, The #MeToo Movement; A Global Shift for Women and Girls, highlighted how changes in law, policy and practice are powered by women’s stories and result in reforms that don’t happen without these voices.  The dynamic discussion focused on how this is proving true throughout the world today.