Government


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  Ideas wall

  • There is a need to engage with government in a constructive way.
  • The existence of laws passed by the government is crucial:
o It opens a space for dialogue to demand improvements.
o It is the basis to seek justice.
o People do not want to be labeled as criminals and will refrain from adopting behaviors prohibited by the laws.
o It generally creates an enabling environment for change.
  • Governments need to be made accountable on the basis of existing laws (implementation gaps).
  • Several challenges need to be addressed by governments such as the independence of the judicial or the accessibility of justice.
  • Government are not monolithic and change can happen. We need to find different avenues and in-roads at different levels. Working with local government can often prove to be effective.
  • Having the government passing a law is a starting point for civil society’s work, especially on calling for effective implementation of the law.
  • Challenging laws and policy implementation requires us to collaborate with government and civil society.
  • Strategies to end gender-based violence need to have governments involved from the start to ensure ownership and accountability (including monitoring of implementation).
  • Remember that governments are composed of individuals who themselves have their own attitudes and who are influenced by families and communities. 
  • Legislation and policies are representations of social norms and can reinforce either positive or negative social norms.
  • We expect change to come from political leadership and yet political leadership usually relies on/is enabled by change in society (“people’s permission”).
  • We must work on the relation between governments, individuals, institutions and society when creating change.
  • There is a difficult relationship to work on between tradition laws and government laws.
  • Oxfam in Pakistan on working with government:
o Support government’s initiatives to have its laws prevail (on religious and tradition laws especially).
o Deploy gender focal points at decision-making levels in government structures.
  • The Bangladesh experience spoke about working with government – can learn from their experience, especially on services
  • Expense of legal recourse
  • Alternate dispute resolution and interaction with court system


Interrogations

  • There is a need to work on internal change before working on external change while working with government: should we working on capacity building related to violence against women to help overcome “tokenistic” agreement and remove internal blocks within governments?
  • How do we engage with states (or do not), including militarized states?
  • In what instances/contexts is it perhaps more effective to be confrontational (or not) when working with government actors?

Resources

Presenters

Joselyn Bigirwa. jbigirwa@oxfam.org.uk
Marketplace.  “Multi-stakeholder”

Joselyn Bigirwa_Multistakeholder program Uganda_P2P


Laura Haylocklaura.haylock@oxfam.ca
SVRI.  “Conceptual framework”

Laura Haylock - Oxfam's Conceptual Framework on Changing Social Norms - SVRI and P2P


Abul Hossain. chossain2019@yahoo.com 
Skills Building, “Psychosocial counselling”.
Pumla Gqola. pumla.gqola@wits.ac.za 
Panel.  “What do we mean by ANB”.  
Brigitte Topinanty. btdionadji@oxfam.org.uk 
Think Tank.  “Theatre for advocacy with traditional leaders and government”. 
Saleema Munir. smmunir@oxfam.org.uk
Think tank.  “Aligning formal and informal laws and norms”.
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