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From 16 Days Of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence To 365 Days Of Commitment To Reducing Inequalities

Today marks the International Day for Human Rights, as well as the end of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence (GBV). The Pacific region can be proud of the progress and wealth of initiatives held to raise awareness and advance progress in the elimination of violence against women and girls, and in the promotion of gender equality.

“The volume and breadth of 16 Days of Activism activities across the region and the engagement of national authorities, civil society organisations and the public has been humbling and inspiring,” noted Mr. Sanaka Samarasinha, UN Resident Coordinator to Fiji Multi-Country Office.

The EU-UN Spotlight Initiative programme supported a number of events including the launch of the Standard Operating Procedure for the Clinical Management of Sexual and Gender-based Violence in Vanuatu, the launch of the Helpline for the LGBTQIA community in Palau, and the training on GBV for police officers led by Women United Together in Marshall Islands.

These events were amongst hundreds of activities across the region organised by national authorities, women centres, faith-based organisations, and civil society organisations, to say no to GBV and stand up for the rights of women and girls.

What Covid-19 has taught us is that no one can end a global pandemic alone. Violence against women and girls is a global pandemic in its own right, for our communities to develop the antibodies needed to eliminate GBV and create the envinroment where women and girls can thrive, we need to continue working together every single day, supporting our communities and injecting change with our words and actions, leaving no room for the virus of inequality to survive. 

“16 Day of Activism is inspiring and nurturing the next generation of activists and human rights defenders, movements of people working together for an equal, more sustainable and resilient future across the Pacific” continued Mr. Samarasinha “Once again, 16 Days of Activism has shown that when we, women and men, girls and boys, work together, the sky is not the limit and we can really become generation equality” he concluded.

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