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International Women’s Day 2017: raising awareness of sexual violence against women and girls




Social Development Direct has partnered with director/writer and producer Chelo Alvarez-Stehle for a screening of ‘Sands of Silence: Waves of Courage’ to mark International Women’s Day 

Women and girls have been a central focus of SDDirect's research, programming and policy-related work for the last 17 years. To celebrate this year’s IWD, we are hosting a screening of ‘Sands of Silence’ to bring awareness about sexual violence against women and girls.

A powerful film, ‘Sands of Silence’ shows how difficult it is for women and girls to speak out about sexual abuse in all its forms and how feelings of shame run very deep in cultures all over the world. The film is of particular relevance to SDDirect’s work on gender-based violence (GBV), one of our long-standing specialisms and a major part of our portfolio. We work with donors globally to generate evidence and learning on GBV and influence policy-making to bring about positive impact in the lives of women and girls.

This year’s IWD campaign is centred on the theme 'Women in the changing world of work: Step it up for gender equality - Planet 50:50 by 2030'. This theme is a central focus of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) starting next Monday. Our Senior Experts, Sally Baden and Eleanor Nwadinobi, will be attending the event, which will gather gender experts and government representatives from around the world to agree on further actions to accelerate progress and promote women’s enjoyment of their rights in political, economic and social fields. Eleanor will be speaking at various panels, focusing on women’s empowerment, and women, peace and security (WPS) – watch this space for updates next week!

Photo Credit: Marla Ulloa