On the occasion of the 16 days of activism, Elena Panova, the UN Resident Coordinator in Egypt, has warned that violence against women and girls has devastating immediate and long-term consequences that threatens the development efforts especially after COVID-19 crisis.
“Ending this behaviour requires that everyone works jointly to confront and address this problem. It cannot be achieved by the government alone, by civil society alone, or by international development partners alone. It is our shared responsibility, and we all have a role to play,” said Panova.
She added, “The UN Country team in Egypt defends the rights of women and girls to enjoy equal rights in living free of violence and reaching their full potential through a strategic and coordinated approach within the country. We reaffirm our commitment to continue working together with Government of Egypt and the community to address the root causes of violence against women and girls in a comprehensive and effective manner.”
Her remarks came during an event organized by the National Council for Women in partnership with UN Women Egypt, the European Union Delegation to Egypt and the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands in Egypt, to commemorate the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence under the global theme “Orange the World: End Violence against Women Now!”. The event took place with the backdrop of the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization lit up in orange to symbolize a brighter future free from violence for women and girls, in the presence of the United Nations Under-Secretary-General and UN Women Executive Director Ms. Sima Bahous, on her first official visit since assuming her role earlier this year.
A recorded speech by Maya Morsy, President of the National Council for Women, was presented as part of the ceremony, in which she stated: “On the 16 Days of Activism to combat violence against women and girls, I am urging every Egyptian girl and woman to be aware of her rights and claim them and to know well that she is living a golden era in a country (Egypt) which its President declared that he is a Minister of Women. And that it is not possible to promote and fully protect human rights without protecting women’s rights and empowering them.”
The high-level event included keynote speeches by Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation of Egypt; Christian Berger, Head of the European Union Delegation to Egypt; and Han-Maurits Schaapveld, Ambassador of the Netherlands to Egypt.