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Volkan Bozkir, President of the 75th session of the General Assembly delivers a message on the kick off campaign for 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence
25 Nov 2020 -  The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an annual international campaign that kicks off on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs until 10 December, Human Rights Day. It was started by activists at the inaugural Women’s Global Leadership Institute in 1991 and continues to be coordinated each year by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership. It is used as an organizing strategy by individuals and organizations around the world to call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.

In support of this civil society initiative, under the leadership of the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, the United Nations Secretary-General’s UNiTE by 2030 to End Violence against Women campaign (UNiTE campaign) calls for global actions to increase awareness, galvanize advocacy efforts, and share knowledge and innovations.

The UN System’s 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence activities, from 25 November to 10 December, will take place under our 2020 global theme: "Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect!"
As we mark twenty-five years since the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action – the most comprehensive and transformative global agenda for the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls – it is essential that we end gender-based violence for once and for all.
In the past 12 months, 243 million women and girls around the world have been subjected to sexual and or physical violence perpetrated by an intimate partner. Indeed, there has been a spike in reporting during the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw global lockdown and shelter-in-place measures. Cramped and confined living conditions combined with increased security, health and financial concerns have led to heightened tensions and strains within households.
This violence is unconscionable.
None of us can stand by while any woman or girl lives in fear for her safety. This is the time for men and boys around the world to stand up for what is right. This is the time to change our attitudes and norms in support of gender equality and an end to violence.
I thank you.