Masculinities Mondays: 28th of April 2014

To commemorate ‘Orange Day‘ to raise awareness about ending violence against women, which falls on the 25th of each month, this week’s edition of Masculinities Mondays focuses on news related to gender-based violence.

* In the U.S., the White House has stepped up the pressure on universities to more aggressively and effectively combat sexual assault on campus. The guidelines recommend regular, anonymous surveys about sexual assault on campus as well as university policy reforms. A new website, with information about rights and services, has also been released. With, reportedly, one in five college students in the U.S. having been assaulted, however, critics feel that guidelines are an insufficient response.

* As Andorra, joining Albania, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Italy, Montenegro, Portugal, Serbia, Spain, and Turkey, became the 10th country to ratify the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence’ (also known as the ‘Istanbul Convention’), the treaty will become binding on August 1st of this year. The treaty addresses gaps in national responses to violence against women, outlining minimum standards for prevention, protection, prosecution, and services. According to a recent survey of 42,000 women by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, one in three women in the E.U. has experienced some form of physical and/or sexual assault since the age of 15.

* In Australia, the Women’s Centre for Health Matters has commended changes to the legal system of the Australian Capital Territory, saying that these changes make the system fairer to people who experience sexual assault.

* Meanwhile, Sri Lankan activists are reacting to comments by President Mahinda Rajapaksa that people who experience statutory rape should be able to marry their perpetrators. This comes in the wake of Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa saying, in March, that violence against women is women’s own responsibility.

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