Polish lessons shared with women’s rights advocates from Belarus
On April 18-21, 2013 ten women’s rights advocates from Belarus took part in a strategic training in Warsaw, Poland on legal protection of women from discrimination and domestic violence. The training was a response to the current challenges faced by the Belorussian women’s movement. It focused on raising the knowledge of participants about the essential elements that constitute a good law against gender-based discrimination and violence. The participants learned about the best European examples of this kind of legislation, and the European Union and United Nations’ recommendations on effective prevention of gender-based discrimination and violence, as well as victim protection. The lawyers who conducted the training shared Polish experiences of developing the draft bills to make the participants aware of problems they might encounter while working on and presenting their drafts to the relevant state’s authorities. The women’s rights advocates had an opportunity to discuss with the Polish experts the weak and strong points of their draft bill on domestic violence in the light of international legislation as well as opportunities and threats in a context of current social and political situation in Belarus.
The training was one of the series of initiatives that Belorussian women’s organizations plan to undertake to make the state’s authorities adopt the bill on equal status of women and men as well as the bill on preventing and combating domestic violence. The training was organized by KARAT with its Belorussian member organization Public Association of “Women’s Independent Democratic Movement” (PA ‘WIDM’). The training was financially supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Warsaw.