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Director-General of UNESCO: «Combating violence against women is everyone’s business, including, of course, men and boys, whose role is central»


Every year on 25 November, UNESCO marks the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. This day was commemorated for the first time in 1999 following its proclamation by the UN General Assembly.

Violence against women is one of the most widespread violations of human rights. According to the World Health Organization, globally, 35 per cent of women have ever experienced physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence, or sexual violence by a non-partner.

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has shown that all types of violence against women and girls, particularly domestic violence, have intensified. Calls to violence against women helplines increased up to fivefold in the first few weeks of the pandemic, the UN Women reports.

The 2020 theme for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women is «Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect!». Like in previous years, this year’s International Day will mark the launch of 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence that will conclude on 10 December 2020, which is International Human Rights Day.

UNESCO supports communities worldwide in deconstructing stereotypes and addressing violent patterns of behaviour and mentalities.

In the message on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women Ms Audrey Azoulay, the Director-General of UNESCO, pointed out that «UNESCO, which has made gender equality a cross-cutting priority, is tirelessly working towards this goal».

«Our Organization is first addressing this in the urgency of the health crisis to ensure that all girls return to school – 11 million girls are currently at risk of being left by the wayside,» she said.

On the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, UNESCO is organizing two virtual events to raise the awareness among a wide audience and to give visibility to solutions that work to eradicate violence against women and girls (VAWG).

High-level roundtable «Transforming mentalities: engaging men and boys to address the root causes of violence against women»

Date: 25 November, 7 pm – 8:30 pm (Tashkent time)

This virtual high-level roundtable will provide an opportunity to learn from global leaders and activists what it takes to eradicate violent mentalities harming women, how to engage and educate men to reject all forms of gender-based violence.

Click here to register and join the online high-level roundtable
Password: 820451

Master class «Youth against gender-based violence»

Date: 25 November, 2 pm – 4:30 pm (Tashkent time)

The Master Class will aim at engaging secondary education students from all around the world to combat VAWG, as well as at providing them with concrete action-oriented recommendations and tools to sensitize their peers, families and communities.

Click here to join the Master Class against gender-based violence

Password: 401973

These virtual events will be open to the general public, up to 500 persons on Zoom, and broadcast in a live stream on UNESCO’s website.

Languages: English, French and Spanish.

More information on this International Day here.

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