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UN launches campaign to end violence against women

KABUL: On the international day for elimination of violence against women, the United Nations mission in Afghanistan on Sunday embarked upon a 16-day campaign against gender-based violence.

UNAMA in a statement called on all people to respect, promote and protect the rights of women and girls to end violence against women.

The statement said: “The International Day, marked every year on 25 November, represents the start of the global campaign of 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. This year’s theme – “Orange the World #HearMeToo” – is focused on supporting survivors and amplifying voices of advocates to end violence against women and girls.”

“The pervasive, long-term impact of violence against women makes it imperative that everyone in Afghanistan works together, as a national priority, to ensure that more is done to support survivors and hold perpetrators accountable,” said Tadamichi Yamamoto, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan.

“Addressing violence against women requires effective investigation and prosecution of reported cases,” said Yamamoto, who is also head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan. “Fighting impunity in this way not only sends a strong signal that violence against women is unacceptable but also helps build women’s confidence in inclusive, equitable and sustainable development of the country.”

A barometer of a country’s commitment to its human rights obligations is how it addresses the various forms of violence its women and girls suffer. Under the 2030 Agenda, Afghanistan committed to end violence against women and girls.

“Afghanistan’s commitment can only lead to positive results for the nation, communities and families where women and men take responsibility to transform the harmful attitudes that drive violence against women and girls, to respect and treat women and girls with equal rights as men and boys, and to support survivors of violence, hear their voices, and accept survivors within society,” said Aleta Miller, Representative of UN Women in Afghanistan.

During the 16 Days Campaign, the Afghan government, supported by United Nations, intensifies its advocacy and awareness-raising activities to addresses violence against women and girls in Afghanistan. The campaign runs until 10 December, International Human Rights Day.

Recalling Article 22 of the Constitution of Afghanistan 2004 on non-discrimination and equality of men and women, Yamamoto and Miller reiterated the commitment of the United Nations to support efforts by Afghan institutions and civil society to end all forms of violence against women and girls.

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