In 1999, the UN General Assembly designated 25 November as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. This day also marks the start of the annual 16 days of activism for the elimination of violence against women.
Violence against women is a global phenomenon and one of the most persisting human rights violations. It exists in all states and societies around the world and can also be rooted in religious and cultural traditions.
Intimate partner violence is one of the most common forms of violence against women and includes physical, sexual and emotional abuse. Women suffer violence at home and at work place. Sexual violence and trafficking of women into prostitution and domestic labour are serious human rights violations as well.
As part of the 16 days of activism the Permanent Mission of Finland, together with a group of states and NGOs, hosted a panel discussion entitled “Working together to end violence against women and girls.” Also the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, World Health Organization and the United Nations Population Fund were involved in organizing the event. During the discussion the panelists emphasized effective co-operation among different stakeholders in combating violence and underlined the necessity to change the attitudes, which enforce traditional gender roles, through education. Furthermore the discussants accentuated the significance of the role of men and boys, stressing that their further engagement and participation is necessary in eliminating violence against women.
The White Ribbon Campaign (WRC) is the largest effort in the world of men working to end violence against women. This year the campaign takes place in 55 different countries, including Finland. The campaign is known for its white ribbon that symbolizes men's opposition to violence against women.
More information: http://whiteribbon.ca