SRSG Parfait's Message for the 16 Days of Activism for Ending Gender Based Violence

25 Nov 2023

SRSG Parfait's Message for the 16 Days of Activism for Ending Gender Based Violence

UNOAU STATEMENT | SRSG ONANGA-ANYANGA’S REMARKS on the Call to Action for the 16 Days of Activism: UNiTE! Invest to Prevent Violence Against Women & Girls                                           

Today we  mark the commencement of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. This annual international campaign, initiated by civil society and embraced by the United Nations, serves as a poignant reminder of the shocking reality that tarnishes the face of our world: violence against women remains one of the most pervasive and widespread human rights violations across the globe.

The African continent is, unfortunately, still witnessing the devastating impact of gender-based violence exacerbated by conflicts, where women and girls often bear the brunt of this despicable brutality. The UN remains deeply committed to addressing this issue and supporting the African Union's efforts to eradicate gender-based violence.

Here, at the United Nations Office to the African Union, we strongly stand for the inalienable rights of women and girls. Our commitment to ending Conflict-Related Sexual Violence is unwavering. In the framework of the strategic partnership between the United Nations and the African Union, we work closely with the African Union, governments and civil society to implement preventive measures, amplify the voices of African women, and advocate for policy changes and their implementation. Our approach is holistic and our initiatives focus on building resilience, addressing the root causes of conflict and fostering collaboration to create lasting change.

As we embark on these 16 Days of Activism, let us remember that our collective action is essential to bring about a world free from gender-based violence. Together, we can invest in prevention, amplify the voices of survivors, and work towards a future where every woman and girl can live in dignity, free from the shackles of violence.

I end by underscoring the following points:

  • Firstly, what we do know, is that the human cost of violence against women and girls is incalculable.
  • Secondly, one in three women experience physical or sexual violence at least once in their lifetime; and
  • Thirdly, violence against women and girls is one of the most prevalent and pervasive human rights violations.

Let us unite and invest to end violence against women and girls.

Thank you.