Archive for the ‘Consultations’ Category

With a view to assessing progress made by States in meeting their obligations under the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, the next report (from the Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights defenders, Margaret Sekaggya) to the Human Rights Council, due in March 2011, will focus on women human rights defenders and those defenders working on women’s rights and gender-issues.

The report will seek, in particular, to identify the specific risks women defenders and those defenders working on women’s rights and gender-issues face as well as their specific security and protection needs.

To this end, the Special Rapporteur (SR) would be grateful if you could answer the attached questionnaire. Deadline for responses: November 30, 2010.

The SR has also requested information from member States. SR’s report will later be made public here

The Special Rapporteur would greatly appreciate receiving your responses at your earliest possible convenience, preferably no later than 30 November 2010. Responses received after this date will not be reflected in the 2011 report. Responses may be addressed to the Special Rapporteur at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (; fax: +41 22 917 90 06).

The English, French and Spanish versions of the questionnaire are available to download from

Research involving more than 1000 Australians has found the vast majority — 87 per cent — support allowing abortion in the first 12 to 13 weeks, comprising 61 per cent who said it should be legal at this stage and a further 26 per cent who would allow it in certain situations. But qualified support persisted even for later stages of pregnancy, with 12 per cent of those polled saying abortion should be permitted in the second trimester and a further 57 per cent under certain conditions.

Although nearly half, or 48 per cent, of respondents thought abortion in the third trimester should be illegal, an equal proportion was prepared to allow it — 6 per cent without qualification and 42 per cent in set circumstances.

Victoria decriminalised abortion in 2008, but the procedure remains a crime in at least some circumstances in every other Australian jurisdiction except the ACT.

In Queensland, Cairns woman Tegan Leach is expected to reappear before the state’s courts this month charged with attempting to procure an abortion. If convicted, she could face up to seven years’ jail.

Ms Leach is understood to be the first woman to be charged with the offence under a 111-year-old clause in the Queensland criminal code.

Her partner, Sergei Brennan, is charged with supplying drugs to procure an abortion.

The poll, conducted by research firm Crosby/Textor and published today in the Medical Journal of Australia, also found that in only five of 16 specific examples of why a woman might seek an abortion did respondents believe a doctor performing the procedure should be struck off or face other professional sanction.

Lead author of the MJA article Lachlan de Crespigny, associate professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at the University of Melbourne, said abortion laws in most parts of Australia were complex and differed from state to state, leaving women and doctors unclear about their rights and obligations.

A spokesperson for NSW Attorney-General John Hatzistergos said the state’s laws, which allowed abortion in certain circumstances, “provide the right balance”.

As Zimbabwe embarks on writing a new constitution with the countrywide collection of public submissions starting on Jun. 23, not all women are upbeat about the process.

While some gender activists see this public comment phase as an opportunity for their voices to be heard, ordinary women remain in the dark about the proposed new constitution and what exactly they are supposed to contribute.

Activists warn this could be a lost chance for women to speak about issues that affect them and therefore assert their constitutional rights. It could compromise women’s rights advocacy and the drive to have more women in parliament and other decision-making positions, warns Rejoice Timire of the Disabled Women Support Organisation.

“For women’s issues to come out as they want in the constitution, it needs women at the grassroots to be educated about what is a constitution. If they don’t know what it (the constitution) means then we cannot say our issues will come out as we want them to as Zimbabwean women,” Timire told IPS.

There are already complaints among members of the public that not much has been done to adequately advertise the call for public submissions.

Lydia Thembo agrees saying she has no clue about the constitution-making process that she and other Zimbabweans are expected to provide input for.

“I have not heard anything about it (the constitution outreach exercise),” she told IPS. “There are obviously many things I would like addressed that affects us women, for example, issues to do with inheritance laws. But I have no clue how to do this. I only know about voting during elections – that’s all.”

Local newspapers also reported that the public is unaware of where to make their submissions and that one constitutional outreach team dispatched to collect submissions had been thrown out of their hotel, due to lack of accommodation arrangements.

These concerns are emerging against the backdrop of feminist activists having already complained after the formation of the government of national unity in 2009 that the coalition partners had ignored the call for equal representation in senior government positions. This would have been in line with the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol on Gender and Development, of which Zimbabwe is a signatory.

The protocol demands that women have equal positions to men in both public and private sectors by 2015. Zimbabwe has only four female cabinet ministers of a total 120.

“At the moment women in parliament are too few to make any meaningful change,” Timire said.

Zimbabwe’s next elections are expected after a new constitution has been written and accepted in a referendum. The constitutional outreach process is expected to be completed by September.

But concerns have been raised that this could be another exercise in futility that will serve only as “window dressing.”

“Coming up with a good constitution is one thing, implementing the provisions is quite another thing,” said Slyvia Chirawu, National Coordinator of the Women and Law in Southern Africa (Zimbabwe).

The decades-old economic crisis has left women vulnerable and out of employment, and feminists say this has partly been due to their absence in decision-making positions both in the public and private sector.

“We need other strategies to get women into decision-making positions. Do the political parties themselves have a clear stance on women’s participation in their parties? It determines the number of women who get into parliament,” Chirawu told IPS.

In a gender audit report of political parties that form Zimbabwe’s unity government last year, the Women in Politics Support Unit lamented that despite Zimbabwe being a signatory of the United Nation’s Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the coalition government had, by not ensuring gender parity in government, failed the country’s women.

Yet the fight for political equality remains a tough one in this largely patriarchal nation where women remain stereotyped as “homemakers,” says Abigail Shuma, a gender activist in Bulawayo.

“Women are yet to come out of the closet as leaders in their own right not by mere appointment and that has been the nature of our national politics that women only participate and become very visible only as supporters and so-called party bulwarks. That’s how their role in politics has been defined,” Shuma told IPS.

“There is still a long way to go before ordinary women aspire to higher political office in this country.”

However, Chirawu believes new strategies must be adopted for women’s presence to be felt.

“We need to address issues that hinder women’s effective participation in politics starting from the home upwards,” Chirawu told IPS. She said this included addressing, among other issues: the lack of knowledge on laws and policies; gender inequalities; patriarchy; negative stereotypes; and lack of access to resources.

“The legislated quota system will only work if those who get in through this system have real power, so we look at the motive: is it just window dressing or is it meant to give the women real power as decision makers?” she asked.


Next phase of online discussion launched
UNESCO Gender Mainstreaming

UNESCO is prolonging its Beijing +15 online discussion until September 2010. The discussion will broaden the scope of debate, looking at “Transformative policies and initiatives: promoting gender equality in all spheres of life”. Participants will be asked to share their perspectives and expertise on policies, interventions and programmes aiming to advance gender equality in all spheres from economics, politics, and education, to culture and society.

The enthusiasm which greeted the online discussion on “Gender equality, education and training”; organized within the context of the fifteenth anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action, highlighted the need for such interactive and dynamic fora, where critical issues of policy and practice related to gender equality can be debated amongst stakeholders.

The online discussion will broaden the scope of the debate, looking at “Transformative policies and initiatives: promoting gender equality in all spheres of life”. Participants will be asked to share their perspectives and expertise on policies, interventions and programmes aiming to advance gender equality in all spheres from economics, politics, and education, to culture and society.

As with the Beijing +15 discussion, the aim of this discussion is to:

1. inform policy debates and direction

2. allow participants from all corners of the globe to collaborate and share their research and best practices on gender equality initiatives.

This year, several key international fora are taking place where your voices and views can be shared with policy makers and decision makers; namely the United Nations’ Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) conference in July and the Millennium Development Goals’ high-level summit in September.

So take part in the discussion and let your views on how to turn gender equality into a reality be heard at the highest level!

Participation is welcome to all interested individuals. If you would like to subscribe to this list, please email the Moderator

The poll of 800 voters, conducted exclusively for The Courier-Mail, found 64 per cent believed abortion should be legalised, while 31 per cent disagreed. Five per cent were uncommitted.

Despite the results, Premier Anna Bligh has consistently refused to decriminalise abortion, saying she does not have enough parliamentary support.

The poll, conducted last week, comes as public hospital abortions in Queensland remain suspended, except in cases where the mother’s life is at risk. Queensland Health obstetricians have been sending women requesting abortions at less than 18 weeks’ gestation to private clinics within the state.

Women seeking late terminations are being referred to centres in Darwin and Melbourne.

At least some of the terminations are being paid for by taxpayers, with Queensland Health agreeing to foot the bill.

Public hospital obstetricians may launch a test case in the Supreme Court as early as this week to force the establishment of a legal precedent regarding abortions which involve severe foetal abnormalities.

But legal advice suggests this could only be done if the doctors are unable to refer a woman elsewhere.

Obstetricians say this is a distinct possibility in the short-term, as private facilities become overloaded with public hospital patients who frequently request terminations late in a pregnancy.

About 300 of the estimated 14,000 abortions performed in Queensland each year are done in public hospitals.

Cairns obstetrician Caroline de Costa said the latest poll results were not surprising.

“Other surveys have shown a majority of Queenslanders believe that women should have access to safe, legal abortion,” Professor de Costa said.

Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists’ president Ted Weaver said the poll should prompt the Bligh Government to legislate to support the wishes of society.

“I think it’s really up to the government to work out a way forward,” Dr Weaver said. “The ball’s firmly in the government’s court.”

Queensland public hospital obstetricians say they are unlikely to resume performing terminations until they receive written assurances from the government that they are “supported and indemnified”.

Queensland Health did not comment.,27574,26072582-3102,00.html

Non-Jamaicans will be allowed to make submissions to a parliamentary committee when another round of intense debate on abortion begins later this month.

A joint select committee has been set up to consider the recommendations of the Abortion Policy Review Group. As part of this exercise, the committee is expected to receive comments on the proposals from 53 persons.

During a meeting of the committee it was disclosed that nationals and non-nationals have expressed a desire to appear before Parliament to make presentations.

On October 23, six pro-abortion activists will present their views on the subject, while the following week, a similar number of anti-abortion groups will submit their proposals.

The committee members were divided on the issue of whether overseas nationals should be allowed to make presentations to the committee.

Opposition Senator Sandrea Falconer said she had no problem with Jamaicans in the diaspora participating in the discussion on abortion, but objected to non-Jamaican nationals appearing before the committee.

Lisa Hanna, opposition member of parliament, disagreed with her colleague, saying other jurisdictions had examined recommendations for and against abortion and could share valuable information on their experiences.

“We are now in a critical time where I think it would be helpful to listen to some of the constraints and also the help they received,” she added.

Senator Dwight Nelson said the idea of foreign nationals influencing local legislation was not without precedence. He said Jamaica participated in talks at the International Labour Organisation (ILO), where conventions were agreed on by some 150 countries.

“They sit down in Geneva and decide on conventions which influence legislation in Jamaica,” he said.

However, Government MP and attorney-at-law Laurie Broderick warned against a liberal approach in fashioning legislation. He questioned whether the country would allow non-nationals to make submissions on the upcoming debate on whether to retain the death penalty in Jamaica.

“We would be subjected to a barrage of views out of the EU (European Union) countries, which may not relate or pertain to our social needs or problems,” he said.

Government MP St Aubyn Bartlett supported Falconer’s position, urging the committee not to invite other nationals to make presentations in Gordon House.

He, however, said the committee should review their written submissions.

Chairman of the committee, Rudyard Spencer, ruled that both Jamaicans and non-nationals would be given an opportunity to appear before the committee.

The committee agreed on a massive public education programme on abortion-related issues and consultations are to be held islandwide to give Jamaicans an opportunity to take part in the debate.

See also Safe and legal abortion is a woman’s human right
DAWN (Development Alternatives With Women for a New era) – Caribbean chapter

Many thanks to everyone who has taken part in our survey “A Women’s Agenda for the Local Elections May 2008” but …

… if you only voted on the opening question about funding women’s core services and did NOT go to the end of the survey and click on “submit survey” your opinions will not be included.

So please can you find the time to go back to the survey and make sure that you click through to the last page and click on the button to submit your survey.

And for anyone who hasn’t yet taken the survey please add your opinions not only about funding women’s core services but also about the issues that are important to you in your local area.

Survey closes tomorrow – Tuesday 29th at 4pm – many thanks.

To take the survey or validate your earlier answers go to

Many thanks!
Women in London


Women are dying to look perfect.

Literally. Last year’s toll included a music promoter who expired on the operating table while undergoing cosmetic surgery, and a couple of fashion models who starved themselves to death. High profile enough to have made headlines, these women may represent just a fast glimpse of the beauty industry’s dark lining.

But they have no one but themselves to blame for the risky lifestyle choices they made in pursuit of looking good. Or do they?

The U.K. Periodical Publishers Association has launched an inquiry into the pervasive practice of digitally enhancing photographs. The initiative was inspired by a report commissioned by the British Fashion Council into the industry’s regrettable influence on women’s body image. And the council’s report? It was prompted by public outrage over the death of the models and the destructive definition of ideal femininity perpetuated by fashion media.

It should be an old story. Women’s groups have been protesting unattainable beauty standards for decades. Here in Canada, Media Watch spent more than 25 years conducting research, delivering educational seminars, meeting with regulators and mobilizing consumers around the need for more responsible media portrayals.

Despite such activism, and greater public awareness, some aspects of the situation have gotten worse, not better. Magazine cover stories sensationalize celebrity crimes against body image every week; reality TV shows regularly invent new ways to exploit women’s insecurities; and the digital distortion of Photo-shopped images fuels exponential growth in cosmetic surgery procedures, despite the health risks attached to many.

So the move by British magazine publishers to explore the development of an ethics code on retouching is long overdue. Why shouldn’t magazines be held to the same ethical standards that newspapers follow? Consumers have a right to expect authenticity from the photos they disseminate. If we can’t trust that the images we’re looking at reflect reality, why should we credit the words that appear alongside them with any greater truth?

An even more compelling case can be made for the images that appear in ads. When cosmetic companies claim that their lotions and creams will reduce the appearance of wrinkles and cellulite, it’s reasonable to expect that the photographs purporting to illustrate such results have not been altered. How is “truth in advertising” served when models promoting dietary aides and foundation makeup have achieved their slim silhouettes and flawless complexions with the help of an airbrush artist?

The increasingly popular trend among supermarket tabloids to feature undoctored images of makeup-free celebrities looking shockingly ordinary offers the welcome relief of a little Schadenfreude – being reminded that not even Halle Berry looks like Halle Berry without digital enhancement reassures us about our own imperfections. And the staggering success of Dove’s campaign for “real beauty” underscores the appeal of authentic imagery.

This shouldn’t be a surprise. A growing body of research documents the damage done by increasingly unattainable physical ideals on the self-esteem of young girls and adult women alike. The punishing comparisons with perfection help to trigger anorexia in those predisposed to it, and health professionals are clear that commercial media images are significant contributing factors to depression, bulimia and the skyrocketing increase in cosmetic surgery procedures.

The good news is that avoiding exposure to such imagery can have a remarkably positive impact on the way women feel about themselves. And when people become more aware of this, they’re increasingly likely to either press for the kind of responsibility being considered in the U.K., or to stop buying the magazines entirely.

Consider the views of the fashion industry’s most sought-after target market. Last year, with the professional assistance of EKOS Research, Media Watch – recently renamed Media Action/Action Media – conducted focus groups with young women from across Canada who were asked their impressions of the dominant image of women in popular media.

“Skinny,” “sleazy” and “stupid” were the representative adjectives volunteered by the 14- to 24-year-olds who were canvassed in Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver. All the young women expressed universal frustration with pervasive images of “flawless” female bodies (read slim and large breasted), and the disproportionate attention seemingly paid to those women eager to minimize the amount of fabric between their skin and the camera.

While current media practices unfortunately suggest that Media Action remains as relevant today as it was 25 years ago, the savvy cynicism and growing trend among young women to create their own alternative media content is fuelling renewed activism and – hopefully – much needed change.

PPA working group on digital enhancements

Travellers who have suffered domestic violence are being asked if they would prefer a women’s refuge in a caravan rather than a building, it emerged today.

A branch of the domestic violence charity Women’s Aid is looking at providing a trailer or chalet-style facility in the garden of an existing refuge to improve services for travellers and gypsies.

It has set up an online survey to gather travellers’ views about the proposals.

The survey is funded by the Supporting People initiative run by the Department for Communities and Local Government.

The plan, revealed in the national traveller, gypsy and Roma magazine Travellers’ Times, is also examining whether more women from the community should be encouraged to work with groups like Women’s Aid.

One traveller who has suffered domestic violence, identified only as “Annie”, told the magazine: “If I’d never lived in a house in the first place, I would not want to go into a house refuge.”

The Women’s Aid survey asks: “Would you want to stay in a refuge that had a secure mobile home/caravan in the garden for a gypsy/traveller woman and her children?”

It adds: “This survey is for gypsy/traveller women that have experienced domestic violence and may have used support services. It has been created to try to address the fact that traveller women may not be getting the service that they require or which meets their cultural needs.”

The plan has been put forward by West Mercia’s branch of Women’s Aid. Spokeswoman Sharne Maher said: “On average a woman will go through 12 agencies before finding a refuge. A woman from an ethnic minority background will have to work her way through about 17. We worry that some women simply give up trying.”

80 years on from women’s suffrage, it is predicted that it will take:
* 20 years to achieve equality in civil service top management
* 40 years to achieve an equal number of senior women in the judiciary
* Up to 200 years – another 40 elections – to achieve an equal number of women in Parliament
(Equal Opportunities Commission 2006 survey of women’s representation in positions of power)

Women Take Part invites you to be part of changing this……. to contribute your ideas, experiences and knowledge, and hear:
– what women have to say ……
– how organisations are working to change things …..

Introduced by Barbara Follett MP, Deputy Minister for Women & Equality
Date: Tuesday 13th May 2008
Time: 9.30am for 10.00am start with 4.30pm finish
Venue: The Deaf Cultural Centre, Ladywood, Birmingham B16 8SZ (

Fully accessible, parking available on request
Plenty of taxis at the station
Hotel deals can be arranged

R.S.V.P by Monday 28th April
01743 350198 or

WTP has been collecting information about two sides of the story

‘what works’ in terms of approaches, initiatives and learning models that encourage different groups of women to become more involved in community and public life

‘what needs to happen’ so that structures, policies and organisations work in ways that encourage the recruitment and support of more women, particularly currently under-represented women

This event is about sharing initial findings from research and conversations with people who have been working around these issues for years. It is a real opportunity to provide a flavour of some of the fantastic work that is happening around the country.

It is also about sharing your experiences and thoughts through interactive sessions. We will be exploring the key things that need to happen to increase the participation of women, particularly women from underrepresented groups in governance and decision making – in both public and community life.

Last, but not least, it is about sharing your views on how this research can be used to make a real difference and make sure that women are in the places where decisions are made and priorities set.

The day is aimed at those who are committed to increasing numbers of women in community and public life.

You might be:
* involved in delivering learning programmes
* from an organisation that wants to recruit more women into governance
* in a position to commit resources to relevant programmes and initiatives
* already involved in this research

It is an invitation-only event with a limited number of places, so please let us know if you intend to join us or not, so we can re-offer available places or book you in and check any dietary or access requirements, including travel or caring costs which may help you to take part.

Display space is available if you have literature which may be of interest – please contact us for details

Women Take Part, c/o changes, 53 North Street, Shrewsbury SY1 2JL
01743 350198 /

A Women’s Agenda for the Local Elections May 2008

* Have you heard politicians canvassing for votes mention a policy that is important to you as a woman?
* Or do you think politicians are taking women’s vote for granted?
* Or in the 21st century maybe you think local issues are gender neutral?

So with just over a week to go we thought we would try and help make public the concerns and priorities for women with a vote to cast on 1st May 2008.

Maybe your concerns are ‘traditional’ women’s issues, such as more affordable child care, more local well paid part time work, more affordable housing, easy access to appropriate health care, better services for carers, choice of school places, .

Or maybe your concerns are more about your area’s infrastructure, such as cheaper/better public transport, more cycle lanes, more play and sports grounds, no closure of local post offices, safer streets, more dentists surgeries, .

And because we appreciate that funding of women’s services is such a critical issue for many women, we want to ask a separate question about that, but hope you will use the other questions to help us compile a list of the unmet needs of women in your local area.

We realise that not everyone will be having local elections – if you are not sure see the lists at But even if there aren’t local elections in your area, why not get your voice heard now – it may make a difference when it is your turn!

We hope you will find time to take this survey.

We will close the survey at 4pm on Tuesday 29th April and will make every effort to publish the results by Wednesday 30th April

To take the survey go to

Many thanks!
Women in London

What does the Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC) do?

The NMC aims to safeguard the health and wellbeing of the public by continually regulating, reviewing and promoting nursing and midwifery standards. The NMC aims to uphold the reputation of the professions in the eyes of the public, government, other healthcare organisations, and nurses and midwives themselves.

Launch of the new Code for nurses and midwives

7th April 2008 marked the launch of the new edition of The Code of Standards for conduct, performance and ethics for nurses and midwives. The Code informs nurses and midwives of the standard of professional conduct they are expected to work to, and informs the public, other professions and employers of the standard of professional conduct that they can expect of a nuse or a midwife.

Nurses and midwives are the largest group of healthcare professionals in the UK and the number of people they treat and care for is significant. The new version of the Code has been designed to very clearly demonstrate to all groups, the standard of care that patients should be receiving.

The first edition of the Code was published in 2004, and though it worked well for the healthcare environment at the time, things have moved on since then. Practise is continually changing and the role of a nurse and midwife is ever expanding. Many tasks that were traditionally undertaken by doctors are now being carried out by nurses or midwives. The NMC recognised this shift, and the significant impact it has had on the way patients receive care. The new version of the Code has been updated to reflect these developments.

The revised Code has been developed following extensive consultation with nurses and midwives, members of the public, employers and others. In particular, consumer and patient representative groups have welcomed the Code.

* See what they have been saying about the Code
* Read the Code on the NMC website at

Have your say about equality and diversity at the NMC

Prior to finalising our Equality Scheme, the NMC is holding a series of focus groups around the UK to discuss our plans around equality and diversity with our stakeholders. A focus group for lay people on 5 June 2008 will provide an opportunity for individuals and representatives of service users to tell us what the issues are for them and the people they represent.

For more information, or to take part in the focus group, contact Marie Saldanha on 020 7462 5880 or by 16 May.

Places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Dear all,

I would like to make you aware of two opportunities for lay people to become involved in the regulatory work of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

Lay Panel Members

We are looking for lay people to join our team of Fitness to Practise Panelists. Fitness to Practise Panels consider allegations of impairment of fitness to practise made against nurses and midwives on grounds including misconduct, lack of competence and ill health.

Local Supervising Authority Reviewers

We are looking to appoint lay people as Local Supervising Authority (LSA) Reviewers. In this role you will be required to undertake reviews of Local Supervising Authorities, to see if they meet NMC standards for the supervision of midwives.

For information about both of these opportunities, or to apply, please copy and paste the following link into your browser –

At present there is no closing date for either of these positions. However, a deadline for the receipt of applications will be posted on our website in the near future.

Please forward this information to anyone who you think may be interested in applying for either of these positions.

Kind regards,
Marie Saldanha
Assistant Consultation and Public Involvement Officer
Nursing and Midwifery Council
23 Portland Place
London WIP 1BZ
Tel: 020 7462 5880

The NMC is currently looking at how to prepare the nursing profession for the future, ensuring that tomorrow’s nurses will meet the future needs of patients. To have your say on pre-registration nursing education, take part in our consultation by 8 February.

The Home Affairs Committee’s eConsultation is running this online forum as part of our wider inquiry into domestic violence, to listen to the views of people who have first-hand experience of domestic violence.

For the purposes of our inquiry we are using the Government definition of domestic violence which encompasses forced marriage and “honour-based” violence.

“Any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between adults who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender or sexuality”

So if you, someone in your family or a close friend has experienced any form of domestic violence, been forced into marriage or subjected to honour-based violence and you want to comment on any of the issues raised, please help us by having your say. We especially want to hear about your experience of mainstream services (e.g. the police, courts, health and social services) and of support services (e.g. from refuges, voluntary agencies). And we’re interested in where things are done well, as well as what could be improved.

This forum will run until 29 February 2008. The posts we receive, along with the written and oral evidence gathered during the inquiry, will shape the recommendations we make to the Government in our report.

The online forum has the following topics you can contribute to:

* Do victims of domestic violence receive the support they need from public and voluntary sector organisations?
* Are victims of “honour-based” violence helped enough by public and voluntary sector agencies?
* Are there adequate support services for people who are forced into marriage against their will?
* What single action would most improve the lives of victims and survivors of all forms of domestic violence?


There is advice on how to use the online forum and protect your anonymity

To read the terms of the Inquiry as they were announced last year go to

The consultation process

In December 2006 the CPS launched a Single Equality Scheme, to develop further our improvements in delivering justice for all and in being valued, and respected, by the communities we serve and our employees.

As well as a common action plan that deals with issues across all equality strands (race, gender and gender identity, disability, age, religion or belief and sexuality), there are also individual action plans that allow the CPS to focus on key obligations under each of the three positive duties that arise in respect of race, gender and disability. The Gender and Gender Identity Equal Action Plan makes specific provision for the development of a Violence against Women Strategy in the first year of the Single Equality Scheme (2007-08).

The CPS Violence against Women Strategy sets out a vision for developing our violence against women work, building on the work of 2006-07, and provides supporting action plans for future work.

The consultation paper

Download the consultation paper – Draft Violence Against Women Strategy and Action Plans PDF

An Equality and Diversity Impact Assessment (EDIA) of the Strategy and Action Plans has also been conducted (see below). The main aim of this is to assess the likely impact of the Strategy and help establish if there is any significant disproportionality in terms of gender, ethnicity, disability, sexuality, religious or believe, and age.

Equality and Diversity Impact Assessment on the Violence Against Women Strategy and Action Plans – Analysis of evidence prior to consultation PDF

How to respond

We welcome views on the Strategy and EDIA from everyone with an interest in this topic. Responses must be with us by 28th January 2008 at the latest.

There are two ways in which you can answer the questions for consultation, you should select the method you prefer:

Option 1 – Respond to the consultation by filling in our online form
You can respond to this consultation using our online form.

Option 2 – Respond to the consultation by completing the Word document
Download and complete the response sheet which is in Word format

When completed, please return the sheet by email to or send a hard copy to:
CPS Violence against Women Consultation
Equality and Diversity Unit
50 Ludgate Hill
London EC4M 7EX

Please include your name, organisation (if any), postal address and email address.

The information you send us may be published in a summary of responses to this consultation. We will assume that you are content for us to do this, and that if you are replying by email your consent overrides any confidentiality disclaimer that is generated by your organisation’s IT system, unless you specifically include a request to the contrary in the main text of your submission to us.

Please ensure that your response is marked clearly if you wish your response and name to be kept confidential. We are happy to do so.

Confidential responses will be included in any statistical summary of numbers of comments received and views expressed. Submission from respondents may also be subject to release under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. If you have instructed us accordingly, we will ensure that your views are not attributed should they be released in this way.


A consultation – Third sector strategy – by the Ministry of Justice which opened on 20 December 2007 and closes on 20 March 2008 makes no reference to victims of rape or the provisions on Rape Crisis Centres or Helplines.

This is ” a consultation to enable the Ministry of Justice to finalise its third sector strategy for England and Wales, to strengthen the way the ministry works with voluntary and community groups to secure better public services and improve its policies. ”

If you would like to read the original MoJ press release and download the consultation document and the paper to submit your response see the story we originally posted at