Breakthrough’s three-day Pan-Asia Summit ‘Reframe’ gathered a 1000+ audiences from 16 countries in March 2022 and concluded with recommendations from intersectional feminists across the globe to end Gender-based Violence. In partnership with ARROW, Men Engage Alliance South Asia, Swayam and partly supported by UNWomen, held virtually, the 3 day event saw participation of feminists and feminist organisations from countries like Philippines, Malaysia, Cambodia, Nepal, China and Myanmar among others. 250 speakers and 4 performances marked the event.
One of the aims of the event was to make sure that while moving national level commitments aligned to SDG goal 5 is important, we must also ensure that regional coalitions and partnerships play a central role to align efforts and resources at a regional level. We also wanted to get people together to focus on strengthening the roll-out and implementation of a multi-sectoral response to urgently address gender-based violence with a particular focus on women and girls and everybody who identifies as women across this diverse region.
Shanthi Dairiam, Founding Director, International Women’s Rights Action Watch, Asia Pacific, Malaysia, initiated the discussion by saying, “There must be clarity on the concept of Gender-based Violence underpinning a policy and a plan to end GBV. The policy and strategy must establish that gender inequality is the root cause of Gender-based Violence. This must look at several interrelated interventions from law enforcement, organisations for women, relief services, etc. and must be coordinated in all sectors through an effective institutional mechanism that coordinates, uses a common database, allocates budgets, and monitors enforcement and impact.” The event also drew attention to lack of resourcing for the issue. As per Association for Women’s Rights Development (AWID), despite new funding commitments made, women’s rights organisations receive only 0.13% of the total Official Development Assistance and 0.4% of all gender-related aid. Gopika Bashi, Manager, Resourcing Feminist Movements, AWID, India, said, “People working in the field of Gender-based Violence struggle for resources. The annual median budget for 48% feminist organisers last year was USD 30000 or less. Resources are even lower for organisations led by women, girls, non-binary individuals, who have faced intersectional discrimination. In terms of data from the donor ecosystem, only 1% is committed to gender equality initiatives. There is restricted space for resourcing and funding feminist movements in Asia, especially India.”
The event generated 200 media reports from across the region highlighting the need to collaborate on ending gender-based violence.