International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

Media Advisory: International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, 25 November, will call for urgent actions to Fund, Respond, Prevent and Collect data to address gender-based violence in the context of COVID-19

For immediate release
Date: Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Media contact: media.team[at]unwomen.org

The UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE Campaign to End Violence against Women will commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November. The International Day and virtual event will kickstart the global mobilization of the 16 Days of Activism campaign – running from 25 November until 10 December – under the theme: “Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect!”.

Even before COVID-19, violence against women was one of the most widespread violations of human rights, with almost 18 percent of women and girls experiencing physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner within the last year. During COVID-19, calls to violence against women helplines increased up to five fold in the first few weeks of the pandemic. For every 3 months the lockdown continues, an additional 15 million women are expected to be affected by violence.

Calling for a “cease-fire at home”, the UN Secretary-General urged governments earlier this year to make the prevention and redress of violence against women and girls a key part of national response plans for COVID-19. While UN Member States responded, and  135 countries have adopted measures to prevent or respond to violence against women during this global crisis, only 48 countries – less than a quarter of the 206 analysed in a recent study – treated violence against women and girls-related services as an integral part of their national and local COVID-19 response plans, with very few adequately funding these measures. The culture of impunity still prevails widely, and the pandemic is threatening to undo any progress as women are not being able to access the live-saving care and support they need.

The commemoration will be an opportunity for Member States, civil society, influencers and the UN System to spark a renewed sense of urgency and bolster global action to end violence against women and girls by calling on all to: fund essential services on gender-based violence and women’s organizations who are at the forefront; to respond to the needs of survivors, including during the global pandemic; to prevent gender-based violence from happening in the first place by challenging cultural and social norms, mobilization campaigns and a zero-tolerance policy; and to collect data to improve services, programmes and policies. In the lead up to the commemoration, UN Women has appealed to Member States to make concrete, tangible commitments during the 16 Days of Activism.

WHEN:

Wednesday, 25 November 2020, from 10 a.m. to 11.30 a.m. (E.T.)

PARTICIPANTS:

  • Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres
  • Member States representatives
  • Under-Secretary-General and UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka
  • Under-Secretary-General and UNFPA Executive Director Natalia Kanem
  • UN Women Goodwill Ambassadors Nicole Kidman and Cindy Bishop
  • Co-Hosts Zahra Al Hilaly and Stuart Moir

 With the musical performance of Ensemble Corona, Bosnia and Herzegovina

HOW TO WATCH THE EVENT:

Please note that the event will be held in English with simultaneous interpretation provided in all official UN languages. Participants need to <a href="https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_BNnvfq5mQBqlWpo3LIo7Gg">pre-register and attend the event through Zoom</a> platform to be able to access the language interpretation.

Live Webcast of the event will be available on UN Women’s website and UN Web TV. Follow the online conversation using the hashtags #orangetheworld and #16days and follow @SayNO_UNiTE and @UN_Women on Twitter.

Stories and more: We handed over the mic to survivors and those on the forefront of response efforts. Read and share stories of change, videos, interactives, and social media messages, and check out the 16 Days editorial content at https://www.unwomen.org/en/news/in-focus/end-violence-against-women.