What is Commonwealth of Nations?
Commonwealth of Nations is an international intergovernmental organisation of countries, which were the former colonies and dependencies of the British Empire. In 1949 it was established by the London Declaration. Commonwealth currently holds 52 countries’ memberships and these countries are from Africa, America, the Pacific, Europe and Asia including India. Equal and free voluntary co-operation is the basis of Commonwealth’s membership.
The Head of the Commonwealth is Queen Elizabeth II and she is also the monarch of Commonwealth realms, which are 16 members of the Commonwealth.
Commonwealth of Nations’ ‘Peace in the Home’ Programme
Commonwealth of Nations has conducted a number of programmes, most recently on 8th March 2017, on woman’s day they launched ‘Peace in the Home’ Programme. This programme is specially designed to help tackle the “stubborn stain” that is domestic violence on the communities of the member states.
This problem may seem insignificant to many but it excessively impacts women and the Commonwealth aims to end domestic violence in its member countries with this programme that is going to continue through till 2018 when they hope the impact of the programme will reflect.
During her inaugural speech at the High Level Segment of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland said in regards to the ‘Peace in the Home’ Programme that “Our focus for the month of March will be on ending all forms of domestic violence, with a view to mitigating the far-reaching social and economic impact of violence which disproportionately affects women and girls. For unless there is peace in the home, there can never be peace in our communities.”
And she also added that “This focus expresses our Commonwealth priority which is to leave no one behind and accelerate progress on gender equality and the empowerment of women as part of our effort to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. We therefore, welcome the incorporation into this Council’s programme of an annual day of discussion on women’s human rights.”
Key features of the programme are:
- The issue of violence in elections and politics will be addressed and initiated by conducting a mentoring programme for women.
- Detail of the initiatives that have or had been particularly successful at dealing with domestic violence will be shared and highlighted to help the countries.
- The efforts of the Commonwealth to address domestic violence will be supported by building a coalition of businesses, governments, civil society, human right institutions and individual citizens.
- This programme will include providing aid to the governments across the Commonwealth with toolkits that include a number of agencies like schools, doctors, governments, hospitals as well as law enforcement agencies to function together effectively.
- This programme aims to eradicate the violence conducted against woman like physical abuse, child marriage etc. thus creating a safe and more equal society for them
If the Commonwealth of Nations’ ‘Peace in the Home’ Programme is enforced and conducted properly then it will have a major impact in reducing violence and inequality done against women.