The painting exhibition to mark 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, displayed artworks created by refugee and Pakistani women aimed at highlighting the importance of safe space
ISLAMABAD – Seven Pakistani and Afghan refugee artists showcased their art in a three-day exhibition held between 8 and 10 December, organized by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency at the Pakistan National council of Arts (PNCA) in Islamabad.
The public exhibition, organised to mark 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, tells the stories of talented women from all over Pakistan to advocate for gender equality, and strengthen the link between local and international action to end violence against women, through their paintings.
Diana, an artist from Afghanistan, explained the dreams of women in her country through her pieces. “In these paintings called “safe space”, I show myself flying, where my arms symbolize my abilities and strength to reach my goals,” she added.
At the launch ceremony, UNHCR Deputy Representative in Pakistan, Ms. Tammi Sharpe underscored that over 43 million forcibly displaced and stateless women and girls face heightened risk of gender-based violence. “Across the world, women and girls are bearing the brunt of wars,” she said. She said that beyond women’s economic empowerment, we must strive for a world where women can live without fear of violence.
Women and girls also face higher risks and greater burdens from the impacts of climate change, including the devastating floods witnessed in Pakistan this year.
The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence Campaign, which runs annually from 25 November to 10 December, is intended to generate awareness, and mobilize action to prevent gender-based violence (GBV). The focus of years theme “Activism to End Violence against Women and Girls”, is aimed at the prevention of GBV, mobilizing public support, amplifying the voices of diverse feminist women’s movements, increasing long-term, sustainable and flexible funding for girl-led and women’s rights organizations, strengthening of protection mechanisms and promoting the leadership of women and girls.
UNHCR in Pakistan provides assistance to survivors and promotes activities for prevention, and risk mitigation of gender-based violence, thanks to the generous contribution of the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), France, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, United States of America and other committed donors from the private sector including Novo Nordisk.
Mr. Qaiser Khan Afridi, UNHCR Pakistan Spokesperson, +92-300-5018696
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