Cyprus Mail

Seminars and media campaign focus on violence against women

By Annette Chrysostomou

ZERO TOLERANCE of violence against girls and women is the aim of a campaign currently underway which specifically targets boys and men.

Coordinated by the administration and human rights commissioner’s office, the purpose of the campaign is two-fold, said commissioner official George Kakotas.

The first is to educate and sensitise the public on gender violence via the media, and the second to organise training seminars targeting organisations and institutions.

“The media campaign aims to inform society, but also to challenge gender stereotypes and social and cultural attitudes and perceptions that render violence acceptable. It’s aimed specifically at the target group of men and boys,” Kakotas said.  For the training seminars, the target groups are: police officers, primary and secondary school teachers, health professionals, social workers, law professionals and public offices dealing with immigrant women who are additionally vulnerable.

Eighty per cent of the 380,000 euro budget has been supplied by the EU’s Progress programme, the remaining 20 per cent by the government.

The original proposal was designed on observations and research which showed a lack of education as well as problems with professionals in Cyprus.

Under the umbrella of this project, The Mediterranean Institute of Gender Studies (MIGS) is implementing a nationwide media campaign called ‘Men say no to violence against women’.

Christina Kaili, MIGS project coordinator, explained that the campaign will be tackling the problem in different ways. There are already video spots on several TV channels and radio spots as well. Posters are being placed in buses and on the highway and will be positioned in the GSP stadium during the soccer period.

Asked if they expect a significant change due to this campaign, Kaili said “Change does not only come from this campaign as changing attitudes takes time. We use a holistic approach and this is part of it.”

“It was obvious from observations and research that we needed to act and now we have the funding to run this campaign.”


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