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National Violence Against Women Monitor Program Begins with Orientation in Budapest
5/9/2004 1:05 PM

National VAW Monitors (right to left) Helve Kase, Virginija Aleksejunaite, Gabrijela Ivanov, Maria Ossowska, Magdalena Delinesheva and Jana Olearnikova

On May 9 and 10, Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights and the Open Society Institute's Network Women's Program (NWP) conducted a two-day Orientation Program in Budapest, Hungary as a first step in developing a National Violence Against Women Monitor Program for Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.  

Participants in the orientation included representatives and expert consultants of non-governmental organizations from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, and Slovakia.  These representatives and consultants will soon take up the role of National VAW Monitor by developing new content for the Country Pages of the Stop Violence Against Women Website ( that Minnesota Advocates launched in November 2003.  Minnesota Advocates developed the website in consultation with and with the support of NWP and the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM). The website provides advocates in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union with comprehensive information as they develop strategies to address violence against women.

During the Budapest Orientation Program, Minnesota Advocates and NWP provided the Monitors with information about the website's purpose and organization

Eva Foldvari of the Network Women's Program Introduces Monitor Program
as well as guidance in using the website's content management tool to modify and add to STOPVAW Country Page content.  In addition, the Monitors brainstormed about possible new uses and sections for the Country Pages. With these tools and with first-hand knowledge of research, advocacy, law and policy developments in their countries, Minnesota Advocates and NWP expect that the Monitors will be able to accomplish the following goals:

  1. Enhance the capacity of individuals and NGOs who use the website to develop and implement effective strategies to end violence against women in the region;
  2. Employ the website Country Page content and message forums as an advocacy tool;
  3. Monitor government compliance with international obligations; and
  4. Distribute information to the international community about their government's successes and failures in combatting violence against women.

NWP and MAHR plan to hold a second Orientation Program in July 2004 for National VAW Monitors from the countries of Central Asia and the Caucasus.

Participants in the National Violence Against Women Monitor Orientation in Budapest included the following individuals:

  • Anastasia Posadskaya-Vanderbeck, Eva Foldvari, Gabriella Kiss and Marta Dekany of the Open Society Institute's Network Women's Program (New York, NY and Budapest, Hungary)
  • Robin
    National VAW Monitors Discuss Methods of Commenting on Legislation--From Left to Right, Roxana Tesiu, Georgianna Avram, Vanja Mikulic, Irena Milatovic, Lejla Mujkic and Julia Spronz
    Phillips, Cheryl Thomas and Christine Tefft of Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights (Minneapolis, MN)
  • Lejla Mujkic of Women and Society Research, Policy and Advocacy Center (Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina)
  • Magdalena Delinesheva of Center of Women's Studies and Policies (Sofia, Bulgaria)
  • Gabrijela Ivanov of B.a.B.e. (Zaghreb, Croatia)
  • Helve Kase of NGO Estonian Open Society Institute (Tallinn, Estonia)
  • Judit Hermann of NANE (Budapest, Hungary)
  • Julia Spronz, Expert Consultant to NANE (Budapest, Hungary)
  • Zsuzsa Lestal of MONA (Budapest, Hungary)
  • Virginija Aleksejunaite of Center for Equality Advancement (Vilnius, Lithuania)
  • Dr. Jolanta Reingardiene, Expert Consultant to Center for Equality Advancement (Kaunas, Lithuania)
  • Vanja Mikulic of NGO SOS Hotline for Women and Children Victims of Violence (Podgorica, Montenegro)
  • Irena Milatovic, Expert Consultant to SOS Hotline for Women and Children Victims of Violence (Podgorica, Montenegro)
  • Agnieszka Grzybek of OSKA (Warsaw, Poland)
  • Maria Ossowska, Expert Consultant to OSKA (Warsaw, Poland)
  • Roxana Tesiu, Georgiana Avram and Florentina Bocioc of Partnership for Equality (Bucharest, Romania)
  • Biljana Brankovic of Belgrade Women's Studies Center (Belgrade, Serbia)
  • Jana Olearnikova of NGO Fenestra (Košice, Slovakia)

For more information about the National Violence Against Women Monitor Program, please contact Minnesota Advocates at [email protected].