10 December 2012

Sudan: Women in Darfur Mark 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence

press release

To draw attention to women's rights, a series of campaigns organized by the African Union - United Nations in Darfur (UNAMID), have been taking place throughout Darfur to commemorate the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence.

The campaigns, which were launched on 25 November under the theme: "Zero Tolerance against Violence towards Women Now," conclude today, Human Rights Day.

The forums provided an opportunity for hundreds of Darfuri women including those internally displaced, students, midwives, representatives from civil society organizations, and persons with disabilities, to come together and unify their voices to end the act of violence against women in their communities.

The events, many of which kicked off with large marches through the center of several towns across Darfur, also included cultural performances, drama and songs. These activities were performed by women, men and children from the community, in order to draw attention to violence against women and to serve as agents to further spread the message.

"Millions of women and girls around the world are assaulted, beaten, raped, mutilated or even murdered in what constitutes an appalling violation of human rights," said UNAMID Deputy Joint Special Representative for Operations and Management Mohamed Yonis as he read a statement issued by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

"From battlefield to home, on the street, at school, in the workplace or in their community , up to 70 per cent of women experience physical or sexual violence at some point in their lifetime. As many as a quarter of all pregnant women are affected," said Mr. Yonis quoting the UN head.

The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence is an annual global campaign aimed at raising public awareness on women's human rights and actions to combat sexual and gender-based violence.

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