UNHCR in Greece joins international campaign on 16 Days of Activism
Today marks the 30th anniversary of the global 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign. Together with national and local authorities, and non-governmental partners, UNHCR in Greece is organizing a series of activities to generate attention, increase awareness and mobilize action to prevent and eliminate violence against women and girls, including refugees and others who have been forcibly displaced.
Violence against women remains devastatingly pervasive and widespread. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, it was estimated that almost 1 in 3 women around the world were subjected to physical or sexual violence at least once in their lifetime.
Women and girls represent 48% of all people displaced across borders in 2020. While violence against women and girls occurs at an alarming rate globally, forcibly displaced women living in humanitarian crises and armed conflict are at an even more heightened risk, with the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbating these risks.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, UNHCR reported globally a surge in intimate partner violence, sexual exploitation, child marriage, teenage pregnancy, and sexual exploitation and abuse. Some important gains in gender equality and women’s rights have also been sadly reversed.
Addressing gender-based violence requires a concerted response involving national authorities, humanitarian partners, civil society and forcibly displaced women, girls, men and boys themselves. Gender-based violence prevention, risk mitigation and response, gender equality and protection programs must receive greater support and be consistently prioritized.
Echoing this year’s UN theme for the 16 Days of Activism to End Violence Against Women, UNHCR is joining forces with national authorities, municipalities, the diplomatic community, academia and civil society, as well as with refugees and asylum-seekers in Greece, for a series of activities aimed at galvanizing advocacy and creating opportunities for discussion about challenges and solutions. Efforts will be made to highlight the increasing incidence of the crime of femicide, while standing in solidarity with victims.
The campaign begins on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and lasts until 10 December, Human Rights Day. As in previous years, the color orange will be used to represent a brighter future, free from violence against women and girls, as a unifying theme running through all the activities of the campaign.
Programme of events*:
Throughout the campaign, town halls, monuments and buildings in various locations around Greece – including Athens, Thessaloniki, Evros, Ioannina, Igoumenitsa, Evros, Lesvos, Samos, Chios, Kos, Leros, Heraklion – will be lit up in orange. On Human Rights Day, 10 December, vigils will be held in all above-mentioned locations, in memory of the women and girls who have been killed in Greece as a result of gender-based violence. Participants will be wearing orange T-shirts calling for an end to violence against women.
*Some events are tentative and the list will be regularly updated; please check UNHCR’s website and social media accounts (@UNHCRGreece) on the latest updates