16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence is a campaign which runs until Human Rights Day on 10 December.
The 16 Days of Activism is a period for us all to increase awareness of the devastating impacts of gender-based violence (GBV), advocate for action and renew our commitment to prevent and respond to these violations.
This year the UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE Campaign “Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect!” focuses on GBV within the COVID-19 crisis. The Centre for Women Global leadership, which has coordinated the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based violence since its launch in 1991, is calling for the ratification of the ILO’s 2019 Violence and Harassment Convention. This year, their campaign is focused on the informal women workers whose lives and livelihoods have been acutely impacted by COVID-19.
The current pandemic has exacerbated existing risks for forcibly displaced and stateless women and girls, with violence committed by intimate partners on the rise. Increases in child marriage, teenage pregnancy as well as risks of violence against LGBTIQ+ people of concern are particularly worrying too. This crisis is also reversing important gains made on gender equality and women’s empowerment. Now, more than ever, we must ensure our collective efforts to respond to their needs, increase their protection and promote gender equality and the prevention of GBV.
Through the recent launch of the Policy on the Prevention of, Risk Mitigation and Response to GBV we have reaffirmed that GBV programming (prevention and response) and risk mitigation across all sectors is life-saving and an institutional priority. Through the implementation of this policy, UNHCR will continue to strengthen its interventions and ultimately contribute to safer environments for all persons of concern.
In Ukraine and worldwide, gender-based violence is widespread and systematic, gaining even more momentum during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Almost half (49%) of women in Ukraine say they have experienced sexual harassment. Worldwide, 86% of rape survivors and 78% of domestic violence survivors are women. Under quarantine, the number of calls to the National Hotline for the Prevention of Domestic Violence has doubled.
UNHCR has joined the all-Ukrainian information campaign to eradicate gender-based violence.
On 25 November, the New Scars project collected real stories of Ukrainian women, and their physical and mental wounds that cannot heal. Through various art formats, viewers will be able to hear these stories on the stage of the theater, on television, as well as co-create their own theatrical performance in an interactive game format with multiple endings.
In Kramatorsk town in the east of Ukraine, the UNHCR Sloviansk joined the launch of the 16 days campaign of activism against gender-based violence in Kramatorsk.
Together with the Donetsk Regional Administration, UNFPA, UN Women and many other organizations, the UNHCR colleagues took part in a flash mob where building of the Regional Administration was lit in orange joining the UNiTE campaign “Orange the world”.
UNHCR shared information on its activities on prevention and response to GBV, prioritization of GBV survivors in its programming.