DSRSG/RC/HC Ghulam Isaczai Opening Remarks at the Let's Talk Conference
28 November 2022
16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence
Let’s Talk Conference in Erbil
Each year, UN agencies with partners commemorate the 16 Days of Activism, commencing on the International Day to End Violence Against Women on November 25 and ending on Human Rights Day on December 10.
The activities fall under the UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE initiative to end gender-based violence by 2030.
Violence against women is seen as a fundamental obstacle hindering women’s development and society at large.
In Iraq, early and child Marriage remains a widespread phenomenon with estimates as high as 25 percent.
The Conference organized by UNFPA in June 2022 constituted a key event to reinitiate the momentum around addressing this issue in Iraq, with a great commitment from Government actors and Civil Society Organizations at national and sub-national levels.
It is crucial that men and boys are involved and engaged in all activities related to Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women and Girls.
UNFPA Iraq has therefore initiated a country-wide exercise to design a strong Male Engagement Strategy based on a comprehensive scoping assessment with the participation of Government entities, Academia, and Civil Society Organizations at large.
This will provide Gender actors the necessary tools to effectively engage men and boys in preventing and responding to Gender Based Violence and in promoting Gender Equality.
Today, we reiterate our call to:
Adopt a comprehensive strategy to eliminate discriminatory stereotypes and all harmful practices such as early marriage that includes awareness-raising and educational efforts;
Take measures to eliminate discriminatory stereotypes and prejudice towards women and girls belonging to ethnic minority groups as well as from school curricula and textbooks;
Take measures to accelerate the adoption of the draft Law on Protection against Domestic Violence;
Ensure the availability of shelters for women victims of violence throughout its territory, strengthen medical and psychological support services for victims, counseling and rehabilitation services, and ensure that those services are appropriately funded and accessible.
Take appropriate measures to ensure the collection of disaggregated data on all forms of gender-based violence against women.
Eradication of Gender Based Violence is a collective responsibility, and we call on everyone to respond to the alarm raised by women and girls and take firm actions to end the violence.
Prevention of violence is the responsibility of each of us.
Ghulam Mohammad Isaczai
Deputy Special Representative, Resident Coordinator, Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq