RENATE member Marie Helene Halligon, olcgs, represented RENATE at the recent gathering of the Council of Europe World Forum for Democracy, held in Strasbourg, 19-21 November, 2018.
This year’s theme ‘’Gender Equality: Whose Battle?’’ which was mediated through storytelling, Labs and Keynote speakers, created quite a stir during an action-packed three days.
The Forum focused in particular on women’s public, political and economic participation and on combating violence against women in the wake of #MeToo.
Human Trafficking and exploitation was given full airtime. In Lab 9, the focus was on ways to stop human trafficking as well as helping and empowering survivors to ensure their reintegration and rehabilitation. Topics covered were ‘’Women’s rights without borders: cross-border areas in Europe facing prostitution;’’ ‘’Red Tra Sex, Argentina’’ (promotion of human rights of sex-workers) and ‘’Bagel Bejgl,’’ (an economic empowerment programme).
Under the Storytelling sector, Gabriella Gillespie, Child bride, survivor, mother of five, author and activist from the UK shared about how at the age of 13, she was trafficked from the UK to Yemen together with her sisters where they were sold as child brides. Hers is a story of victim; survivor and mentor and was an inspiration to all at the Forum.
Full details of the Forum at: https://www.coe.int/en/web/world-forum-democracy
Facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/WFDemocracy
Prepared by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications.