Professor RoldánProfessor Roldán (center), Alicia Rius Buitrago (left) and moderator Inés Vázquez Gonzalez (right)

On November 14, SGI-Spain held a lecture titled “Theory and Practice: The daily struggle against gender-based violence.” The lecture, which commemorated the UN International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (November 25), was held at the SGI-Spain Culture Center in Rivas-Vaciamadrid.

Keynote speaker was Professor Concha Roldán of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)’s Institute of Philosophy. The lecture was also streamed live to SGI-Spain centers in Barcelona, Tenerife and Las Palmas.

In his opening speech, SGI-Spain General Director Enrique Caputo introduced the history of Buddhism and highlighted that both Shakyamuni and Nichiren emphasized the equality of men and women. Alicia Rius Buitrago, an SGI-Spain member and gender expert, also spoke.

related article Human Rights Education Film Launched at UN Office in Geneva Human Rights Education Film Launched at UN Office in Geneva The film "A Path to Dignity: The Power of Human Rights Education," which uses case studies from India, Australia and Turkey to illustrate how human rights education can transform the lives of individuals and communities, was launched at the UN Office at Geneva on September 19, 2012. Professor Roldán examined gender-based violence from a historical perspective and highlighted that factors influencing violence against women have become more complex today. The roots of modern-day gender-based violence can, she said, be found in the historical subjugation and exclusion of women from civil and political arenas.

Professor Roldán encouraged participants to take steps against gender-based violence in their communities. She emphasized the importance of both theoretical approaches such as identifying contributive factors and practical measures such as speaking out against violence. She also warned that TV programs, magazines and video games can increase the occurrence of violence in modern society.

In conclusion, Professor Roldán highlighted that the elimination of gender-based violence calls for harsher legal penalties, education that promotes gender equality, continued academic study and awareness-raising activities, as well as more individuals supporting organizations that work to empower women and promote their rights.

[Adapted from a report from SGI-Spain, photo courtesy of SGI-Spain]

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