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Conference on Violence Against Women, Bangkok, Sep-07 27 October 2010

Report on Regional Conference on Men as Partners to End Violence against Women
Bangkok: 3rd-5th September 2007

Introduction 3rd-5th September 2007, the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security--the Royal Thai Government, in cooperation with UNIFEM East and Southeast Asia Regional Office Bangkok had organized conference on Men as Partners to End Violence against Women. Mr. Mericio Akara, as Co-founder of East Timorese Association of Men against Violence (AMKV-Timor Leste) was invited as one of the resource person. As cofounder of AMKV Mr. Mericio also actively work as Luta Hamutuk’s staff, thus it become relevant if this activity also included in Luta Hamutuk’s Annual Report inspire of AMKV.

East Timor, in this regional conference, was represented by; Rui de Araujo-Former Minister of Health Department, Jose Luis-Director of HAK Association, Virgilio Guteres-Director of AJTL, Jose Belo-Director of Tempo Semanal, Maria Dias-Director Board of REDE FETO and Mericio Akara- AMKV cofounder as well as Luta Hamutuk’s staff.

The CEDAW has been ratified by 185 member state to date, including Timor Leste. Furthermore, both the Beijing Platform for Action and the Millennium Declaration and Goals has been widely endorsed by 189 and 191 United Nations Member States respectively. Around 51 States worldwide have laws or
bills on domestic violence. Timor Leste still on the process of drafting a law on domestic violence and need more public support includes Timorese men to endorsed by the parliament. As co-founder of AMKV who currently work in Luta Hamutuk, Mr. Mericio was willing to give his contribution on gender equality in general specifically on how to end domestic violence in Timor Leste.

• To promote gender sensitive policy, legislation and services to eliminate violence against women;
• To strengthen the capacity of enforcers and interpreter of law and service providers to address EVAW from a women’s human rights perspective and deal appropriately with offenders;
• To raise public awareness;
• To build women’s capacity to say no to violence and claim their rights and entitlement
• To share experiences with other participant

• The Regional Conference “Men as Partners to End Violence against Women” provided a forum in the South-East Asia region for male partners and Advocates to share to each others and to the official from UNIFEM and the Thai Government the ways in which the participant have contributed to end violence against women-both a personal level and in their institutional roles in their respective country.
• As a resource person from Timor Leste, we shared our experience in established Men Association against Violence in Timor Leste and how we worked with Men as a perpetrator. As a staff of Luta Hamutuk, how then promoting a gender mainstreaming in our Institutional works it self in Timor Leste, although Luta Hamutuk is not focusing on gender issues.

At the end of the conference, mostly all participants, especially UNIFEM and Thai Government Official realized that East Timorese Men Association against Violence (AMKV) was unique and inspiring. AMKV then can be a model for other country to look forward on domestic violence issues. The participant then created a networking with AMKV and UNFEM was willing to give more support on AMKV’s works in Timor Leste. Luta Hamutuk’s member also can be a voluntary member of AMKV in Timor Leste as we considered equality of gender issue was a common interest. For instance Luta Hamutuk will try to promote more women participation in any programs, such increasing women’s capacity on budget monitoring through grassroots discussions or Training of Trainer.

Why Luta Hamutuk Participation?
The invitation, basically, was not address to Luta Hamutuk, but specifically to the one of its member who also act as AMKV cofounder in Timor Leste. Thus, Luta Hamutuk as the institution which also committed to promote gender equality along with AMKV’s vision and mission agreed to send and gave support to Mr. Mericio Akara to be participated in this conference as one of the resource person. This is important as we consider that it can facilitate one’s creativity to promote gender equality which institutionally can affect also on gender perspective-policies making. With this perspective, Luta Hamutuk then supported this program facilitated by UNIFEM.

To be trusted as a resource person in Regional Conference on “Men as Partners to End Violence against Women” was a precious opportunity. In this moment we could shared experiences on how to end gender violence and how to constantly promote gender equality in countries of each own. Gender equality, in fact, is an important aspect need to be endorsed globally, begin at personal level. The establishment of AMKV in 2002 had inspired others to promote gender equality at all times specifically on how to constantly integrate gender perspective in any programs. In this case, Luta Hamutuk is the model for others.