Finding your voice in fighting gender-based violence-Cristel Gopin

“Inner voice is important to think about girls and be comfortable to hear our voice and criticize, but to trust your voice”, said Christel Gopin during the online conversation held on December 08.2023, on the occasion of “16 days of activism” campaign. The session was moderated by Zilka Spahić Šiljak on behalf TPO Foundation and University Gender Resource Center (UNIGeRC).

Christel is the Associate Director of the Center for World Religions, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution (CRDC), The Jimmy and Rosalynn School for Peace and Conflict Resolution, George Mason University. CRDC specializes in innovative international practices of conflict resolution and citizen diplomacy, education seminars, field experiences, and business/organizational consultancies. She is also the Cofounder and Director of the Institute for Conflict Healing, which specializes in helping individuals, groups, and organizations to build compassionate human relations and communities. Christel is pursuing her Masters in Reconciliation and Peacebuilding, with an emphasis on religion, at the University of Winchester, United Kingdom.

During the session Christel shared her thoughts on relevance of self-care, finding our voice, and why it matters in cases of gender-based violence and what are strategies women can employ to protect themselves and to report it.

The voices of women are often silenced and dampened, yet the right training can help each woman to find her own voice and to use her voice effectively. Women together in the right training setting can learn how to raise awareness and find solutions to the problems that impact her life and the lives of others.

Finding your voice is to know what is important to you, because we can easily develop laws and procedures, and forget that our story matter too.

She concluded that “gender-based violence is a conflict we need to find a way to address it.”