Today, a press conference was held by the UN, UN Women and UNIC for the launch of 16 days of activism to end violence against women. The issues discussed included sexual harassment, domestic abuse, female genital mutilation (FGM) and plenty of more issues that, unfortunately, women face in abundance.
The conference comes just in time as the international day to end violence against women, and the 16 days of activism campaign, are kicked off worldwide. The 16 days of activism continue until December 10th, the international human rights day.
It comes as no surprise that one out of three women have their human rights violated. Especially in a patriarchal society that – most of the time – ends up blaming the victim for harassment, rape or domestic violence. All those issues were mentioned in the conference. Dr. Khawla Matar, the Director of UNIC in Cairo, gave the opening remarks. And speeches were made by Azza Kamel, Director of Appropriate Communications Techniques, and Nihal Saad, Co-founder and Director of Imprint Movement.
Concerns for women’s safety were expressed during the conference. Discussions took place about legislations that could help keep women safe from violence, as well as awareness that could be raised to help society understand the severity of the problem. Especially knowing that sometimes legislations do not end up improving the situation much. For example, the very first man to go on trial for FGM after the girl he was performing circumcision on died, was acquitted. Those concerns were raised and discussed. We can only hope that those discussions and calls for justice help real women out there who are facing violence on daily basis.