International Women's Day 2010

Women and men unite against domestic violence in Enfield International Women’s Day event hosted by Naree Shakti

Posted in London, Statements Press Releases by womeninlondon on 31 March 2010

A conference to raise awareness of domestic violence, forced marriage and elder abuse attracted 130 people earlier this month.

Vijay Rattan, founder of host group Naree Shakti, which means women’s strength in Hindi, said that several men had come forward at the event to say that they also wanted a forum to talk about domestic violence.

The International Women’s Day conference, at Trinity at Bowes Methodist Church, Palmerston Road, was chaired by Communications cabinet member Ann Zinkin. Two council officers gave speeches, Sian Kilby on domestic violence and safeguarding adults officer Georgina Diba, on adult abuse.

Mrs Rattan, who said she has been threatened in the past by men who tried to stop her from talking about domestic violence in public, said: “Violence against women is never acceptable. When I went to India last month I heard about quite a lot there, but in Enfield I heard about nine domestic incidents last year and some of elder abuse as well.

“If Naree Shakti can help women feel powerful, their children will feel powerful. Boys will grow up respecting women and knowing violence is wrong and girls will grow up knowing their rights.”

She added: “I’ve seen a lot of suffering in the 40 years I’ve been working. We have to educate some of these men.”

International Women’s Day dates back to 1858 when a group of women revolted against poor working conditions in America, an event which was then commemorated with the first women’s day in 1909.

Naree Shakti, of Bowes Road, Palmers Green, runs health and fitness groups and holds fitness classes and does outreach work with women.

The group hopes to secure funding for future seminars on how domestic violence affects both men and women.

For more information on the group contact 020 8888 6759

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