The 2nd Annual International Summit on Ending Gender-Based Violence 2023 will be held on September 01-04, 2023, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Toronto Airport Marriott Hotel, 901 Dixon Road, Toronto, Ontario M9W1J5.

Theme: “Gender- based violence and intersectionality”

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About the Event


Stopping gender-based-violence starts with believing survivors and taking action, every day. At the 2nd International Summit on Ending Gender-Based Violence 2023, Tooro’s Pride Foundation will showcase the voices of survivors, and the transformative programs that make real differences. Join us to hear the latest updates on violence against women and girls and strategies to end it.

This year’s theme will be Gender- based violence and intersectionality. Human rights activists, GBV Not-for-Profit organizations, CSOs, government representatives, Private sector business representatives, Mental Health providers, will discuss issues that affect women, families, and LGBTQ2 individuals; gender differences; and how COVID-19 pandemic has triggered more GBV worldwide. The summit welcomes attendees from nearly 32 countries.

The summit is a unique, inclusive one, that offers an opportunity for human rights activists, psychologists, mental health practitioners, law enforcements to share their knowledge, experience, in a shadow pandemic that has created the highest Gender Based Violence globally.


OBJECTIVES AND / OR PURPOSE

  • Increasing public awareness about the importance of believing survivors.
  • Showcase how someone’s social position increases the chances of them being victims of gender-based violence
  • Adopting comprehensive and inclusive approaches that tackle the root causes of gender-based-violence.
  • Transforming harmful social norms and empowering women and girls who are victims and survivors of GBV
  • To examine, formulate and advocate for having survivor-centred essential services across policing, justice, health, and social sectors.
  • To provide an enabling environment for victims and survivors of GBV to speak out and share stories.
  • To provide participants with the opportunity to expand their leadership skills among people in the Violence against women and girls’ sector
  • Showcase impact on Covid-19 on gender-based violence

The personal and social resources used to cope with gender-based violence by survivors are influenced not only by gender, but also by the way that gender interacts with other aspects of identity and social position, such as ethnicity or disability or class. An intersectional approach to working with people who have experienced gender-based violence will provide for a more nuanced approach, by considering multiple forms of oppression and structural violence. Different forms of oppression accumulate over time and shape the sense of power, resilience, and well-being of survivors, as well as affecting their capacity to deal with the trauma.

While pervasive, gender-based violence is not inevitable. It can and must be prevented. Stopping this violence starts with believing survivors, adopting comprehensive and inclusive approaches that tackle the root causes, transform harmful social norms, and empower women and girls. With survivor-centered essential services across policing, justice, health, and social sectors, and sufficient financing for the women’s rights agenda, we can end gender-based violence.


Why we must eliminate violence against women and girls

The personal and social resources used to cope with gender-based violence by survivors are influenced not only by gender, but also by the way that gender interacts with other aspects of identity and social position, such as ethnicity or disability or class. An intersectional approach to working with people who have experienced gender-based violence will provide for a more nuanced approach, by considering multiple forms of oppression and structural violence. Different forms of oppression accumulate over time and shape the sense of power, resilience, and well-being of survivors, as well as affecting their capacity to deal with the trauma.

While pervasive, gender-based violence is not inevitable. It can and must be prevented. Stopping this violence starts with believing survivors, adopting comprehensive and inclusive approaches that tackle the root causes, transform harmful social norms, and empower women and girls. With survivor-centered essential services across policing, justice, health, and social sectors, and sufficient financing for the women’s rights agenda, we can end gender-based violence.

Violence against women and girls (VAWG) is one of the most widespread, persistent, and devastating human rights violations in our world today remains largely unreported due to the impunity, silence, stigma, and shame surrounding it.

In general terms, it manifests itself in physical, sexual, and psychological forms, encompassing:

  • intimate partner violence (battering, psychological abuse, marital rape, femicide).
  • sexual violence and harassment (rape, forced sexual acts, unwanted sexual advances, child sexual abuse, forced marriage, street harassment, stalking, cyber- harassment);
  • human trafficking (slavery, sexual exploitation).
  • female genital mutilation; and
  • child marriage.

While gender-based violence can happen to anyone, anywhere, some women and girls are particularly vulnerable – for instance, young girls and older women, women who identify as lesbian, bisexual, transgender or intersex, migrants and refugees, indigenous women and ethnic minorities, or women and girls living with HIV and disabilities, and those living through humanitarian crises.

Violence against women continues to be an obstacle to achieving equality, development, peace as well as to the fulfillment of women and girls’ human rights. All in all, the promise of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – to leave no one behind – cannot be fulfilled without putting an end to violence against women and girls.

Facts about Gender-Based-Violence

  • Gender equality is a basic human right. Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the UN General Assembly on 10 December 1948, stated that “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights” and Article 2 stated that “everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, birth or other status.”
  • Nearly 1 in 3 women have experienced violence, globally. In times of crises, the numbers may be even higher. Gender-based violence is the most pervasive violation of human rights, but it is neither natural, nor inevitable. It can and must be prevented.
  • Violence against women and girls is one of the most prevalent human rights violations in the world. It knows no social, economic, or national boundaries. Worldwide, an estimated one in three women will experience physical or sexual abuse in her lifetime. Gender-based violence undermines the health, dignity, security, and autonomy of its victims, yet it remains shrouded in a culture of silence. Victims of violence can suffer sexual and reproductive health consequences, including forced and unwanted pregnancies, unsafe abortions, traumatic fistula, sexually transmitted infections including HIV, and even death.
  • Living in fear of violence is a reality for too many Canadian women; more than four in 10 women in Canada have experienced some form of psychological, physical, or sexual violence from an intimate partner. Some women and girls continue to be at a higher risk of gender-based violence due to the discrimination and additional barriers they face because of their sexuality, race, disability, or social and economic situation. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, there have been escalated rates of gender-based violence around the world. The social and economic impact of the public health emergency has resulted in a shadow pandemic. It has underscored the systemic issues that lead to violence, as well as the gaps in support to protect and prevent those at risk from harm.

Violence against women during COVID-19

Violence against women is an existing global crisis that thrives on other crises. Conflict, climate-related natural disasters, food insecurity and human rights violations all contribute to women and girls living with a sense of danger, even in their own homes, neighbourhoods, or communities. The COVID-19 pandemic, which necessitated isolation and social distancing, enabled a second, shadow pandemic of violence against women and girls, where they often found themselves in lockdown with their abusers.

Reporting Findings

The new UN Women report, “Measuring the shadow pandemic: Violence against women during COVID-19”, based on survey data from 13 countries, shows that almost 1 in 2 women reported that they or a woman they know experienced a form of violence since the COVID-19 pandemic. Women who reported this were 1.3 times more likely to report increased mental and emotional stress than women who did not.

The findings also revealed that about 1 in 4 women are feeling less safe at home while existing conflict has increased within households since the pandemic started. When women were asked why they felt unsafe at home, they cited physical abuse as one of the reasons (21%). Some women specifically reported that they were hurt by other family members (21%) or that other women in the household were being hurt (19%).

Outside their homes, women are also feeling more exposed to violence, with 40% of respondents saying they feel less safe walking around alone at night since the onset of COVID-19. About 3 in 5 women also think that sexual harassment in public spaces has gotten worse during COVID-19.