United Nations Agencies in Azerbaijan pool efforts to end Gender-Based Violence

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) teamed up with the State Committee for Family, Women and Children’s Affairs and other  development partners to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (25 November) and launch the “16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence” campaign, which concludes with the Human Rights Day observed on 10 December.

Dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the United Nations, this year’s joint initiative focused on prevention and aimed to raise public awareness to bring about change as part of the UN Secretary General’s “UNiTE to End Violence against Women” campaign.

UNFPA and the State Committee co-convened an International Conference on the Domestic Violence, which served as a forum for creating a dialogue with the Government and non-state actors on the CEDAW concluding observations and areas of cooperation to follow-up the CEDAW recommendations.  In his keynote speech, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, UNFPA Executive Director, Dr. Babatunde Osatimehin  stressed that the UN Member States endorsed a new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the UN Summit in September 2015 in New York and reconfirmed their collective responsibility to end violence against women and girls by 2030.

To raise awareness about chid marriages, a brochure reflecting 50 answers to 50 questions was jointly produced for free public distribution to a wide audience both  in the capitaland rural areas. In collaboration with Game.Az, a  public service advertisement was developed to call men to combat all forms of violence against women and girls. The key message echoed the UN Secretary-General’s famous statement: “We cannot fulfil 100 per cent of the world’s potential by excluding 50 per cent of the world’s people: women” . UNDP engaged teachers, parents and upper-grade schoolchildren in a series of open discussions on negative effects of violence against women in schools of Neftchala.

A  regional conference on strengthening national capacities to end child marriages was co-hosted by UNICEF and the State Committee, under the global campaign on violence against children called #Endviolence, and served as an opportunity to provide a space for a dialogue among the representatives from government and civil society .

‘The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence’ is an international campaign originating from the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute in 1991. The dates of November 25 (International Day Against Violence Against Women) and December 10 (International Human Rights Day) were chosen in order to symbolically link violence against women and human rights and to emphasize that such violence is a violation of human rights.

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