Concept note

Ideas arising from the experience on the field are usually the best ones to change things.

It was such an awareness to give life to the non-profit organization “Hands off Women – HOW”, the informal group of women and associations which promotes the Worldwide Network HOW – with its acronym implying the concept of how to find a global and international solution to a still too widespread phenomenon: violence against women which, in all its representations, is numbered among the most severe and systematic forms of Human Rights Violation and among the most awful consequences of sex disparity.

Actually, violence against women is not confined to any specific age, race, culture, wealth condition or geographical boundaries. It can occur both in public and private life, at home, at workplace, in the fields, in war times and during economic crises. It does not honour family ties. It tramples on trust, respect, love. And on democracy. It is still tacitly acquitted by many societies, even economically and culturally advanced. Some other cultures disguise it as medical rites, propitiatory ceremonies, despotic exercise of power or of a liturgy fruit of some distorted views of religious principles. The current international economic crisis is even aggravating women’s condition, in the North as well as the South of the World: Unemployment, increase of responsibilities both at work and at home, reduction of income and potential growth of domestic and social violence, school wastage, all these factors are causing a flare-up of the phenomenon in many Countries.

The non-profit organization Hands off Women – HOW aims at internationally crossing any ideological barriers, any differences of opinion and culture in the name of a common goal: create instruments, actions and collaborations, share good practices and training backgrounds, and strengthen the fight against violence on women, letting victims feel they are not alone and making them be more aware of the defence and protection instruments available.

Hands off Women – HOW means to act both on the social structure and on the cultural, political and educational backgrounds of  victims and persecutors, pursuing the promotion of Countries free from any forms of gender violence. We want to promote the respect for the dignity of women and to better understand which actions to take to achieve our common goal.

The Network is opened to international political and organizational representatives  committed to   thwart physical, psychological, economic and work violence whether inside and outside the home and at workplace or terrible forms of violence such as rape, stalking, and any other awful expressions of man supremacy.

And all forms of the phenomenon due to the lack of gender-equal culture: honour crimes, forced marriages, female genital mutilation, female infanticide, up to the prenatal sex selection.

Hands off Women – HOW proposes the “Chart of Intents” to be signed by anyone interested to share such ideas and actions. The Chart of Intents represents the Network Founding Manifesto to contribute at a cultural transformation  for the  next generations.