Every year, the IPA supports UN Women’s 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence. Dr Despoina Afroditi Milaki launched the IPA’s involvement this year by hosting a webinar on 23rd November 2021, ‘Building Forward Together … towards the elimination of violence against women’.

The 16 Days of Activism is a key moment in the UN Women calendar, and runs this year from 25 November until 10 December 2021. The global theme this year is “Orange the World: End Violence against Women Now!”

Some shocking facts

UN Women reports that nearly one third of all women have been abused at some stage during their life. This increases during times of crisis, as we have observed in our work, particularly during times of massive stress like the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gender-based violence is also seriously under-reported, and UN Women states that, in research carried out in 13 countries, that only 1 in 10 victims will actually report the crime. Many survivors of violence fear that they will not be believed, and indeed, sadly, is often true.

What can we do?

We must start by believing survivors, listening to their stories, and tackling the root causes which can lead to violence, such as systemic poverty and exclusion. As a women-led justice organisation focusing on education and empowerment, we are ideally placed to challenge social norms which exclude women, and to support women and girls to become the authors of their own development. However, it is not enough to simply educate women and men, girls and boys, we must also promote equity and access to policing, health and economic supports, at both a local and global level.

Eliminating violence against women and children is an IPA priority

This is a key priority for the IPA. By educating, informing and reporting on gender based violence against women and children, we are a powerful voice at the United Nations and can play a valuable role in the campaign to eliminate all forms of violence against women and children.

For more information about our work, please contact Ann Marie Quinn PBVM in Ireland, or Dr Desopoina Afroditi Milaki in our New York office.