Supporting the #16days: Arab Media Joins UN Women to End Violence Against Women and Girls

Over 80 media outlets across the Arab region joined UN Women as important influencers of public awareness and opinion to end Violence Against Women and Girls.

Date: Saturday, December 2, 2017

Photo credit: UN Women

                                                                                   On December 2nd, 2017, to mark the 16 days of activism to end violence against women and girls, the regional office for Arab States hosted prominent media figures from Egypt and the region for an evening of celebration, but also reflection and discussion on the important role the media plays as allies in the fight to end all forms of violence against women and girls.

Photo credit: UN Women

                         The theme for this year’s campaign “Leave No One Behind, End Violence against Women and Girls” reflects the secretary general´s new commitment to the “orange the world” campaign and his addition of setting a timeline for the end of violence; 2030 – in line with the sustainable development goals.

Photo credit: UN Women

                             The campaign provides an opportunity to reflect, to raise awareness, notably through using the color orange to spread a message of hope that a world free from violence, where women and girls do not fear any form of abuse, is indeed within our reach.

Photo credit: UN Women

                         The event was inspired by a letter sent to the global media by Dr. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Women´s Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director, requesting the media to join the campaign this year as an imperative influencer of public awareness.

Photo credit: UN Women

Launching the event, Mr. Mohammad Naciri, UN Women regional director for Arab States, emphasized that as “UN Women our mandate is to support member states, civil society and women and girls in their strive for women´s empowerment. This includes a world where women and girls live free of violence, for a world with violence, be that verbal, psychological, or physical, will hinder development, it prevents women from fully engaging in their societies, and it costs the state in loss of income and medical and social services. Yet violence against women and girls, continues to be a norm, globally one in three women will experience violence in their lifetime,”

Photo credit: UN Women

Furthermore, he called on the attendees, “as our partners in this, as our allies, we ask you to join the cause, you – more than anyone else here – have the power to create change, to shift the power balance from the perpetrator to the survivor.”

Photo credit: UN Women

Egyptian prominent journalist and writer Farida El Shobashy, in a discussion with other attendees emphasized: “We should unite our forces as journalists with UN Women to eradicate all kinds of barriers that lead people to consider women as a shameful object while she is the origin of life!”.

Photo credit: UN Women

“Being involved as a media practitioner in ending violence against women is not an option. It’s the right role we have to play if we want a better society for all” says Maha Bahnassy, a TV and Radio presenter who attended the celebration. “I always address the issue in my programmes and I urge my colleagues to do the same.”

Photo credit: UN Women
Photo credit: UN Women

Across the region, UN Women, civil society, governments and others celebrated the 16 days of activism in different ways.