FemLINKPACIFIC (Media Initiatives for Women - www.femlinkpacific) is offering the following for your information as well ad for republishing and further distribution. Please use the credit provided in the event of publication. If you would like to republish the article please let us know how it will be used: 29 November 2011 Media Spaces Contribute to Make Positive Change Women as equal partners in conflict prevention and non violence. Equality of access to physical and political spaces for women with disabilities. Young women motivated to strengthen networks to communicate peace and non-violence. These are some of the programmes featuring young women activists who belong to FemLINKPACIFIC’s Generation Next project as well as persons with visual impairment who remind us that the White Cane is a symbol of independence and the right to access. The programmes are broadcast in Suva as well as rural broadcasts centres in Nausori and Labasa where women are continuing to claim their communication platform, FemTALK 89.2FM to focus on their priorities of health, and family violence. According to Nanise Cakau, the messages are important to inform and educate: “We should have more advertisements on television on what men are doing and women are doing in regards to domestic violence. (we need to) Educate the men on how to stop domestic violence and (also provide information about) breast cancer and cervical cancer.” The empowerment of women to access decision making processes is vital to overcome the challenges related to poverty including high cost of living, rise in taxi fares, lack of bus services and water problems especially in rural communities. Meanwhile, empowering women through the use of the media is also a focus of CIVICUS and partners (Women'sNet & Crisis Coalition) through its gender and diversity focal point has seen it necessary to raise the voices of people who have gone through different kinds of violence during the 16 Days of activism against gender based violence. CIVICUS will collect original stories from victims of violence,civil society activist and other actors to highlight the prevalence of gender based violence, its regeneration and intersection from the home to the world and how it affects peace building in the world. This is because voices of survivors of violence are rarely heard. Cultural barriers, media biases and stigma surrounding, ‘domestic’ violence continue to make it difficult to come out and express their views. In other countries sexual violence such as rape has been used as weapons against the enemies and has left victims traumatized. The silence has further been perpetuated by the secrecy through which the issues have been handled, economic pay outs that have been used to silence the victims, and the use of power and authority (imagined or real) of the perpetrators of the violence. Many cases of gender based violence are not reported and this is worse in situations of conflict. Women'sNet is collaborating with Crisis Coalition Zimbabwe and Civicus to raise awareness of violence against women through screening of a dvd consisting of 16 different stories from victims of violence, civil society actors, health and legal experts. During the screening of the event a panel of experts working on gender based violence will highlight the drivers of violence and suggest solutions to end violence against women. More details at: http://www.womensnet.org.za/ The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence is an international campaign originating from the first Women's Global Leadership Institute sponsored by the Center for Women's Global Leadership in 1991. Participants chose the dates November 25- International Day Against Violence Against Women- and December 10- International Human Rights Day- in order to symbolically link violence against women and human rights and to emphasize that such violence is a violation of human rights. This 16-day period also highlights other significant dates including November 29, International Women Human Rights Defenders Day, December 1, World AIDS Day, and December 6, which marks the Anniversary of the Montreal Massacre. The 16 Days Campaign has been used as an organizing strategy by individuals and groups around the world to call for the elimination of all forms of violence against women by: * raising awareness about gender-based violence as a human rights issue at the local, national, regional and international levels * strengthening local work around violence against women * establishing a clear link between local and international work to end violence against women * providing a forum in which organizers can develop and share new and effective strategies * demonstrating the solidarity of women around the world organizing against violence against women * creating tools to pressure governments to implement promises made to eliminate violence against women Over 3,700 organizations in approximately 164 countries have participated in the 16 Days Campaign since 1991! ... Sharon Bhagwan Rolls Executive Director femLINKPACIFIC +6799244871 (Mobile) +6793310303 (Office DL) www.femlinkpacific.org.fj Sent via BlackBerry® from Vodafone.