16 days’ campaign against Gender-Based Violence starts todaySociety
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia – The annual 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign for 2020 launches today with the theme “No More Violence: End Gender-Based Violence at Home, in the Workplace, and in Public Spaces”.
The campaign is led by United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA) and the Mongolian Government, with financial support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) in Mongolia.
This year, all 11 UN agencies that are working in Mongolia, the diplomatic community, and the local, international civil society organizations and private sector are coming together to call for action against the different forms of Gender-Based Violence happening in the country – domestic violence; workplace and street harassment; sex trafficking and other forms of sexual exploitation, including among migrant women and girls; and violence against children, and persons with disabilities.
As part of the campaign, the UNFPA and the National Police Agency are running a nationwide public information campaign that aims to encourage everyone including the survivors, the witnesses as well as perpetrators to take actions right now to end Gender-Based Violence. By openly talking to each other, by reporting and by taking concrete actions, we can end all forms of Gender-Based Violence in both private and public settings.
“As the world continues to grapple with COVID-19 pandemic as does Mongolia has started taking strict measures to contain the local transmission, it is crucial to ensure the health and safety of women and girls more than ever before. To fight the Gender-Based Violence exacerbated by the pandemic, we must all act together with one voice. This is why, UNFPA strives to ensure the participation of all parties in this campaign.” says Kaori Ishikawa, the UNFPA’s Head of Office in Mongolia.
Reports showed an alarming increase of Gender-Based Violence around the world and in Mongolia due to the stringent measures of lockdown for containing the local transmission of COVID-19. In the first quarter of 2020 when the country started its first precautionary measures, the One Stop Service Centers (OSSCs) saw an 87% increase in the number of clients compared to the same period in 2019. In the first 10 days of strict lockdown started on November 11th, more than 1,500 women and children sought help from OSSCs and Shelters across the country.
According to the Rapid Assessment on the Impact of COVID-19 on the GBV/DV Situation and Survivor Protection Services in Mongolia, conducted by UNFPA Mongolia in the first half of 2020, there are several factors that led to an increase in Gender-Based Violence and domestic violence, namely an increased economic and psychological stress, an increased time spent in same place with all the members of the family, the lack of support during this time, and the lack of opportunities to escape violent homes in lockdown.
“Gender Based Violence can happen to anyone of us to me, to you, and your children, to anyone and anywhere. As long as the gender-based power imbalances remain embedded in the mindsets and behaviors of people. Let us all together join our hands, our forces to end violence any form of violence at home, in the workplace and in public places wherever we are, together we can find for a better world, and together we can find for a peace” highlighted Stefanie Burri, Head of Swiss Cooperation in Mongolia.
Every year from 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December, Human Rights Day, 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence takes place across the world.
UNFPA Mongolia implemented several rounds of public information campaigns to fight against gender-based violence during the 16 Days of Activism in the past few years, including the ones under the theme “Let’s make it positive” and “Let’s Understand and Respect Each Other”.
During the Cabinet session held today, Khurelsukh Ukhanaa, Prime Minister of Mongolia declared that the whole cabinet joins the 16 Days' Activism Against Gender-Based Violence. Please see here for the speeches of representatives from the UN and international organizations as well as cabinet members who joined the campaign.