Joint French-German project opposes violence against women

A joint Germany and French human rights project will end with a presentation from Sabine Kräuter-Stockton of Germany and French Michele Vianés of France today.

Ms. Kräuter-Stockton is an expert in domestic and sexual violence against women. Her background in this area dates back 10 years to when she worked as a lawyer for the department of domestic violence in Saarbrücken, Germany, and in the coordination unit against domestic violence in the ministry of justice in Saarland, one of the states of Germany.

Ms. Vianés founded the Organization “Regards de Femmes” in 1997. The organizaiton says it is designed to denounce the stereotypes between expected behaviors of women and men, to promote political and professional equality, to fight against the moral, psychological and physical violence against women, and to promote solidarity among the women of the world.

The women will address the causes, social factors, and context of violence against women. These include sexual violence, domestic violence, symbolic violence, harassment and domination. Their presentation, which began Thursday, is titled “Forum on the fight and prevention against violence towards women.” It is at the Instituto Interamericano de Derechos Humanos.

This is relevant to Costa Rica due to an increase in female homicides this year.

During a workshop by the judiciary, the local gender equality and women’s empowerment divisions of the United Nations and the Instituto Nacional de las Mujeres held June 7, officials noted at that time that eight women have died in domestic conflicts already this year. Last year there were 11 such cases. There have been several other cases since June 7.

The Instituto Interamericano de Derechos Humanos, the U.N. Development Programme, the la Red Feminista Centroamericana Contra la Violencia hacia las Mujeres,
Universidad de Costa Rica, and Instituto Nacional de las Mujeres and Cefemina helped organize the forum.

The Franco-German project in human rights was designed to promote the exchange of ideas, experiences and methodologies on the prevention and the fight against violence towards women. It has consisted of forums, workshops, round tables, film series and a photography exhibit in various locations in San José since Monday.

The Franco-German cultural fund was created on the 40th anniversary of the Elysée Treaty in 2003 and symbolizes Franco-German cultural programs in third world countries for friendship and cooperation. For its 10th edition, the cultural fund supports 67 projects in 78 countries.

Patrons can also enjoy a cycle of Franco-German films organized by Mi Butaca Cine Club and Cine Variedade, each Monday in August at 7:30 p.m. in Cine Variedade.

Movies include “Die Fremde” by Feo Aladag, “Je veux tout de la vie, la liberté selon Simone de Beauvoir” by Pascale Fautrier and Pierre Seguin, “Gegen die Wand” by Fatih Akin and “Les bureaux de Dieu” by Claire Simon. The organizations will present all the movies in original language with subtitles in Spanish. Ticket price is 1,000 colons, about $2.

Another feature of the project is an exhibition of photographs in the Universidad de Costa Rica called “Planet of Women.” It is made up of 42 color images made by different photographers in the world. The images present women in their different roles.

The exhibit is the result of a public contest made last year by the Costa Rican French Alliance Foundation and has the support of the school of fine arts and the publishing house of the University of Costa Rica.

The embassies of Germany and France in San José presented the idea for two different Franco-German projects for Costa Rica for 2012, one on human rights and the other dance. Both were approved, positioning Costa Rica as the only country in Latin America where there are two projects in the same year.

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