United Nations missions in East Timor and Sierra Leone have announced plans to commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women – marked on 25 November – with extended campaigns to raise awareness about the issue.
The UN Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) will sponsor a 16-day drive against gender violence starting on Monday. Explaining the significance of that period, Patrice Vahard of UNAMSIL told reporters in Freetown that the dates link the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and International Human Rights Day, commemorated on 10 December.
Among other activities being planned for Sierra Leone, “Radio UNAMSIL will be hosting two call-in radio programmes, one on rural and disabled women to give them the possibility of echoing their concern about gender-based violence [and] the other on uprooted women,” Mr. Vahard explained.
“Gender violence is not only women's business, it is a development issue,” he said. “It's an issue that should concern everybody.”
Meanwhile, the UN mission in Timor-Leste (UNMISET) today also announced plans to mark a 16-day campaign against gender violence. Supported by the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), the drive will kick off with a ceremony featuring key officials as well as representative of churches and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), including women's groups.
Other events planned for the capital, Dili, include debates and film screenings on the anti-violence theme, according to UNMISET, which has produced and distributed posters and brochures for the campaign.