The Asia Foundation Holds Inaugural “Learning Lab” Workshop in Timor-Leste

December 4, 2014 — On December 3, The Asia Foundation facilitated its inaugural “Learning Lab” workshop as part of the Ending Violence Against Women (EVAW) program in Dili, an eight-year intervention supported by the Australian Government. The aim of the participatory workshops is to share research and highlight effective practices with civil society and government partners, including the Timor-Leste Ministry of Social Solidarity and the Secretary of State for the Promotion of Equality. The regular sessions are a venue to develop program ideas, reflect on the existing evidence base, and to disseminate program learnings.

“It is vital that those of us working to support families affected by violence have an opportunity to share and learn from each other’s research, experiences and practices,” said Merita Correia, Director of ALFeLA (Asisténsia Legál ba Feto no Labarik), Timor-Leste’s first women’s legal aid organization.

Marking this year’s 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence campaign, the “Learning Labs” will present an open discussion on two research studies. The first is a study on the Economic Dimensions of Domestic Violence, conducted in Timor-Leste with funding from the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). The study gives consideration to the question of economic dependency in married relationships, in response to concerns that a family will suffer economically if an abusive man is convicted and sentenced to a term of imprisonment.

The second study presents findings from the UN Multi-Country Study on Why Do Some Men Use Violence and How Can We Prevent It?, and explores emerging global evidence about violence against women and the most effective ways to prevent violence.

The goal of the Foundation’s program is to reduce the proportion of women who have experienced violence, and to better meet the needs of women and children affected by violence. The objective is to improve outcomes for women and children affected by violence, through prevention, support services, and access to justice; by improving capacity in key ministries, reducing levels of violence, shifting attitudes and behaviors which contribute to violence, improving services, and strengthening justice processes.

Foundation partner, the Alola Foundation CEO Alzira Reis has also acknowledged the importance of sharing learning, noting that, “These workshops as well as other activities throughout the 16 Days campaign remind us that we can prevent violence against women, not only here in Timor-Leste but all around the world.” Alola Foundation will co-host the program’s second Learning Lab, which will take place in Dili on December 4.

Read more about the Foundation and its work in Timor-Leste.

Related locations: Timor-Leste
Related programs: Women's Empowerment and Gender Equality

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