PEER NETWORK Project Final Conference


On 9th and 10th September the Final Conference of Peer Network project took place at ISPA, in Lisbon.

On behalf of the project “Rede de Pares: Gender Violence and Empowerment”, promoted by APPsyCI-ISPA-Instituto Universitário, funded from EEAgrants/CIG, under the scientific coordination of Professor José Ornelas and prof. Dr. Maria João Vargas-Moniz, the conference “Gender violence, activism and leadership” took place on September 9 and 10, at Ispa-Instituto Universitário.

The conference took place in person and online, with elements of the funder EEAGrants and the operator Commission for Citizenship and Gender Equality, as well as the project partners, namely: Associação Caboverdiana de Setúbal, Casa do Brasil de Lisboa, TAIPA - Cooperative Organization for the Integrated Development of the Municipality of Odemira and Women-Iceland, and with some women survivors and other guests from public organizations, researchers, professionals, and students.

We have also the participation of the plastic artist Madalena Campos (MadFildz) who has been following some dynamics of the project and allowed us to exhibit works, entitled “(De) Saia em Punho-MadFildz 2020-2022”, made by the surviving women and consultants for the “Peer Network” project, which can still be visited at the gallery Dr. Mario Casimiro of Ispa.

During the conference days, it was possible to share knowledge and experiences and that the “Peers Network” is a project that aims to generate new opportunities, materialized in the participation and involvement in networks as a source of empowerment.

Different actors and agents were present (students, professionals, researchers, survivors) and the dissemination of information organized throughout the two years of the “Peers Network” project was perceived and extended as “sharing experiences is to give knowledge and knowledge is to give power”.

We find ourselves at a time when it is in the public domain that violence against women is known and publicized, but it is still a topic that is poorly informed, denounced and, above all, have a lack of intervention for prevention. Acts typified as aggressive and violent against women are recognized as a serious violation of human rights, and it is mandatory and priority to promote debate and forms of action and civic participation for intervention in the eradication of acts or cycles of violence based on gender. More than just giving an understanding of how to prevent gender violence, it is important to create sustainable dynamics of social support, amplifying, recognizing, and disseminating the voices of women survivors to strengthen advocacy processes, as a transformative perspective of turning survivors into activists and activists in leaders. This is the purpose of the “Peers Network” project, which was legitimized during the conference, leaving clues and recommendations to inform the organization of services and the formulation of (new) policies and to facilitate the civic participation of women through the creation of Networks of Peers – a tool that we believe to be innovative for the intervention and prevention of Gender Violence.