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Cairo joins in 'Orange the World' campaign raising awareness on gender-based violence
UN Women Egypt partners with Egyptian Government to support women who experienced gender-based violence
Published in Daily News Egypt on 03 - 12 - 2021

The National Council for Women (NCW) has held an event to launch the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence under the global theme "Orange the World: End Violence against Women Now!".
The event took place in partnership with the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women (UN Women), the European Union Delegation to Egypt, and the Embassy of the Netherlands in Egypt.
Celebrating the international campaign, the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization lit up in orange, in the presence of Sima Bahous, the Executive Director of UN Women, during her first official visit to Cairo since assuming her position earlier this year.
UN Women Egypt partners with the Egyptian Government to support women who experienced gender-based violence. This partnership and more with the Women's Complaints Office of the NCW and the women's shelters under the Ministry of Social Solidarity were made possible through the sponsorship of the Netherlands and the European Union.
During the event, Maged Othman, the NCW member and Director of the Egyptian Center for Public Opinion Research (Baseera), conveyed the greetings of Maya Morsy, Chairperson of the NCW, to the guests for their participation in this important occasion.
Group photo of the attendees at the event
Women have to be aware of their rights
A recorded speech by Maya Morsy was presented during the ceremony. She said: "On the 16 Days of Activism to combat violence against women and girls, I am urging every Egyptian girl and woman to be aware of her rights and claim them and to know well that she is living a golden era in a country (Egypt) whose President declared that he is a Minister of Women. And that it is not possible to promote and fully protect human rights without protecting women's rights and empowering them."
In her keynote speech, Bahous spoke about the global challenges which the 16 Days of Activism seeks to address: "We must not turn our backs on the millions of women and girls whose lives have been forever compromised by gender-based violence. Everyone has a role to play in this. I ask you to join UN Women globally in calling for an end to impunity and an end to the broader global culture that still does not take gender-based violence seriously enough."
The high-level event included keynote speeches by Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation of Egypt; Christian Berger, Head of the European Union Delegation to Egypt; Han-Maurits Schaapveld, Ambassador of the Netherlands to Egypt; and Elena Panova, UN Resident Coordinator in Egypt.
UN in Egypt defends rights of women
On the occasion of the 16 Days of Activism, Elena Panova said: "Violence against women and girls has devastating immediate and long-term consequences that threaten the achievements of the entire development efforts especially after COVID-19 crisis. Everyone has to work jointly and mobilize efforts to confront and address this problem. It cannot be achieved by the government alone, by civil society alone, or by international development partners alone. It is our shared responsibility, and we all have a role to play."
She added, "The UN Country team in Egypt defends the rights of women and girls to enjoy equal rights in living free of violence and reaching their full potential through a strategic and coordinated approach within the country. We reaffirm our commitment to continue working together with Government of Egypt and the community to address the root causes of violence against women and girls in a comprehensive and effective manner."
The National Museum of Egyptian Civilization lit up in orange in commemoration of the 16 Days of Activism
Gender-based violence cannot be sidelined any longer
Rania Al-Mashat stated: "Globally, there is a growing momentum to combat gender-based violence against women and we need to realize that it cannot be sidelined any longer. Governments from all regions of the world have made the achievement of gender equality and combating violence against women, a high priority of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), but ambitious financing and investments will be needed to turn these political aspirations into a reality. Such investments are smart investments, as global studies suggest that every dollar invested in women and girls generates a significant return".
Christian Berger also said: "The European Union in Egypt is proud that through our strong partnership with the national authorities, the UN, and the civil society organizations, women and girls are being empowered and protected from Gender-Based Violence."
Han-Maurits Schaapveld commented: "The issue of violence against women is extremely complex and it is plaguing all countries. However there are always opportunities for intervention. As the Dutch embassy in Egypt, we are convinced that eliminating violence against girls and women opens the door for more Egyptian women and girls to succeed and develop themselves. This contributes greatly to Egyptian society as a whole. Hence, we are launching the '21 of 21' campaign on our social media platforms to celebrate together the achievements of 21 influential Egyptian women in different fields in 2021."
16 Days of Activism
It is an international campaign that works on eliminating violence against women. It runs from 25 November to 10 December which marks the International Human Rights Day.
The 16 Days of Activism also coincides with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women which falls on 25 November.
The National Museum of Egyptian Civilization was illuminated in orange also due to the "Orange Day". The United Nations Secretary-General's UNiTE by 2030 to End Violence against Women campaign (UNiTE campaign), proclaimed the 25th of each month as "Orange Day", a day to raise awareness and take action to end violence against women and girls. As a bright and optimistic colour, orange represents a future free from violence against women and girls.
Sima Bahous, Under-Secretary-General and UN Women Executive Director
Launched in 2008, the UNiTE campaign is a multi-year effort aimed at preventing and eliminating violence against women and girls around the world. UNiTE calls on governments, civil society, women's organizations, young people, the private sector, the media, and the entire UN system to join forces in addressing the global pandemic of violence against women and girls. The campaign builds on existing international legal and policy frameworks and works to synergize the efforts of all UN offices and agencies working to end violence against women.
Orange Day calls upon activists, governments, and UN partners to mobilize people and highlight issues relevant to preventing and ending violence against women and girls, not only once a year, on 25 November (the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women), but every month.
On the 25th of every month, people around the world wear orange clothes and take action to end violence against women and girls in every community, at home, in public spaces, in schools and workplaces, during conflict, and in times of peace.
The 2021 theme for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women is "Orange the World: End Violence against Women Now!"
There are many efforts to prevent and end violence against women at the global, regional, and national levels, that assures widespread penalisation of sexual violence and rape, but unfortunately the numbers are still surprising.
Worldwide, one in three women have experienced physical or sexual violence, mostly by an intimate partner, according to the WHO's global and regional estimates of violence against women in 2018.

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