Today, November 25th, is the International Day against Gender Violence, established by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1999.
This year, the day draws attention to how the Covid-19 pandemic is causing an exponential and alarming increase in gender-based violence around the world, particularly in developing countries and in the most fragile contexts, where Doctors with Africa CUAMM operates.
The United Nations has called it “the shadow pandemic“, recalling the duty to shed light on this terrible violation of human rights and calling governments, international organizations and NGOs to actively participate in the initiatives on this day. Therefore a 16-days relay of activism against gender-based violence kicks off today, a campaign launched by UN Women that will end on December 10th, International Day for Human Rights. Activities will be organized to raise public awareness and promote what we can do to prevent and fight against this devastating phenomenon. A commitment that involves everyone, not just women.
Doctors with Africa CUAMM also joins and actively participates in this campaign in the various contexts in which it intervenes: “On the occasion of the 16 days of activism for the fight against gender based violence, all the communities in the areas where we operate will be involved with the double aim to raise awareness among communities and authorities on this issue, but above all to ensure that some of them become bearers of the message – says Frederic, CUAMM program manager in Juba, South Sudan -. Due to Covid-19 the activities have been rethought and after the launch of the initiatives in the the villages, CUAMM community operators will raise awareness door-to-door or within small groups of people. In addition, the staff who work in health facilities will be directly involved to help sensitize the communities on this issue – continues Frederic -. In order to reach the greatest number of people, various media will be used, in particular talk shows on local radio stations, in which CUAMM operators, together with local authorities and community members, will promote awareness-raising messages ».