Wednesday, 20 January 2021

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For the Elimination of Violence against Women, Ciné-ONU screened the world-changing story of “The Uncondemned”

uncondemned image

23.11.2016 – During the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, the Ciné-ONU screening in Brussels of the world-changing story of “The Uncondemned” drew attention to the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and the need to end sexual violence in conflict.

A true courtroom thriller, the film tackles rape as a war crime through the story of the unprecedented Akayesu case and the justice achieved by the Rwandan women who testified and fortified the young international lawyers and activists who secured the recognition of sexual violence as constituting genocide. Up until this point, rape had been committed with impunity; the trial at the International Criminal Court changed the world of criminal justice forever.

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The event was organised in proud partnership with UN Women. Dagmar Schumacher, the Director of UN Women Brussels office, alongside Patricia Viseur Sellers, an international criminal lawyer who participated in the Akayesu case and Mara Marinaki, the EEAS Principal Advisor on Gender and on the Implementation of the UNSCR 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, formed a distinguished panel moderated by Fabio Graziosi from the UN Regional Information Centre, to answer questions from the audience of over 350.

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The Italian Cultural Institute was the perfect choice of venue, decked out in orange as it is, to discuss the importance of the UNiTE to End Violence Against Women Campaign and its call to ‘Orange the World: Raise Money to End Violence Against Women and Girls’.

Mr. Graziosi encouraged discussion on the role of transformative justice after Ms. Marinaki’s statement that law is a ‘first line of support and defense’. Ms. Sellers contributed to the global perspective of the discussion by looking to future cases and told how ‘actual war has gotten ahead of the legal definition of what war is.’

The conversation was a personal one, Ms. Sellers paying tribute to the ‘fabulous women’ from Rwanda and Ms. Marinaki explaining, "victims that speak up should be properly protected and not face a second victimisation". Ms. Schumacher encouraged increased participation to deal with violence against women, highlighting that "women have much stronger roles in peace processes, yet we are not at the end of the journey".

The handout and photos from the outstanding night are here.

There is also detailed information on the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, including the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

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