Violence against Women and Girls - a Development Issue : Governments and Stakeholders must act now

The screening of the film “ Challenging and Preventing Hidden War Crimes” on 6 March 2013 as well as a panel debate was a huge success and also ACORD’s first CSW57 event. This event attracted lively discussions and a record amount of participants ( 110 – 20 men and 90 women). The panel discussions kicked off by Dutch government, UN and ACORD panellists and subsequent comments by participants centred on the implementation of laws on violence against women (VAW), working with perpetrators such as child soldiers and men in uniform as ambassadors against violence, changing mind-sets, especially of men and boys, and budgeting or putting a cost on violence against women in a bid to illustrate its negative socio-economic impact. The first panellist, Salina Sanou, ACORD’s Head of policy and advocacy, gave an initial introduction to the documentary film “Hidden War Crimes” which was screened. She explained that the film was a result of ACORD’s work in the Great Lakes Region funded by the Dutch government’s MDG3 Fund. While it was filmed in Uganda and Kenya, it highlights issues that represent situations experienced by women in the Great Lakes region as a whole and beyond.