International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

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25th November is an International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.On this day in 2021 UN Women prepared a launch of a 16 days activism campaign “UNiTE to End Violence against Women” which will last until 10th December inclusive – the day which is also an International Human Rights Day.

Violence against women and the domestic abuse remainone of the quite serious and unresolved issues worldwide. Even though there are measures taken to help women – there is still a huge gap and lack of actual support and safe actions taken due to the unreported cases and stigma and shame that surround it. COVID-19 pandemic has been one of the factors that allowed such a huge rise of number of victims. This year’s topic to raise awareness – “Orange the World: End Violence against Women Now!”. Orange color represents a brighter future where you will see no violence against women.

Personally, I found very motivating an initiative from 2019 of a Russian singer and artist Manizha. She introduced the mobile application together with a song video in Russia called SILSILA (meaning a threadin Persian – thread,which is reaching everyone who is in trouble right now). This application is determined to be a safe space and a quick tool for emergency situations for all the women that are suffering from domestic abuse or are caught in a dangerous situation. A person just needs to download an application from app store and there you enter a contact information of the closest people that can immediately help, also there is an available information about the closest help centers for victims of abuse which you can read without a cellular network. The most important “feature” – is an emergency button that a person can press to call for help if feeling in danger.

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We all can take small actions ourselvesand help end the violence against women.As proposed by the UN, there are 10 ways to eliminate the violence. First of all, when we come across where women share their personal stories of violence – it is extremely important to support and create a safe space for her to be heard. We cannot do victim-blaming at any point – abuser is the sole reason for assault and has to face full responsibility. Secondly, we need to teach next generations and encourage a culture of acceptance. It is fine to be different, we should talk about consent, bodily autonomy and accountability to boys and girls. Starting conversations about women’s rights early on will help to shape better future for everyone. Calling for responses and services fit for purpose, understanding consent, learning signs of abuse and how you are capable to help them find safety and support, starting a conversation and standing against rape culture – all of these and more are the necessary steps to actively be involved in elimination of violence against women.

Following the UN campaign, we can show solidarity even in the digital space by oranging our social media profiles for 16 days of Activism. On Instagram, for example, you can choose UN Women’s face filter to make the community be aware and spread the word. Do not stay behind and use such hashtags #orangetheworld, #16Days and #GenerationEqualityto start your own conversation about gender-based violence. You can find more information on UN Women website and Instagram account.

Autor: Anastasia Zhmankova
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