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25 November – International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

To celebrate the
International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, Italy
reaffirms its strong commitment to promoting gender equality and combating all
forms of discrimination and violence against women, which is among its
priorities also in view of its three-year term on the United Nations Human
Rights Council (UNHRC) from 1 January 2019.

As is the case each year,
the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation will join
once again the awareness-raising campaign launched by UN Women entitled “Orange the World”, ‘hashtag’ #HearMeToo,
with a view to
attracting the attention on the voice of activists and the stories of survivors
in order to prevent all forms of violence against women.

As in previous editions, the orange
colour will be the leitmotif of the campaign’s activities and events. For the very first
time, also the Farnesina Building will be flooded with orange light on the
evening of Sunday, 25 November.

The Italian diplomatic and
consular network will join the “Orange the World” initiative promoting it on its websites and
social networks from 25 November to 10 December – International Human Rights
Day –.

is actively engaged in promoting gender equality and women’s rights, both at
diplomatic level and through development cooperation. In the last few days,
also thanks to Italy’s active contribution, the United Nations General Assembly
Third Committee (human rights and social and humanitarian affairs) adopted
important Resolutions on the rights of women and especially on the fight
against gender-based violence.

The promotion of gender
equality and of the empowerment of women continues to be a cross-cutting
priority in all development cooperation projects, in addition to the specific
initiatives dedicated to women, girls and minors, in line with Sustainable
Development Goal (SDG) 5 of the 2030 Agenda and with the renewed priority given
to this area in the multilateral debate on development. At global level, this
year Italy has increased its cooperation with the United Nations Agencies that
deal with gender-linked issues, primarily with UN Women and UNFPA.

Within the “National
strategic plan on men’s violence against women 2017-2020”, approved last
November by the Italian Government pursuant to the Council of Europe Convention
on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (the
so-called “Istanbul Convention”), the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has
committed to develop programmes promoting the empowerment of women, as well as programmes
to combat all forms of violence against women and girls, with a special focus
on harmful practices such as female genital mutilation and child, early and
forced marriage.

Italy also supports
international initiatives to prevent sexual and gender-based violence in
conflict and emergency situations, including the “Call to Action on Protection
from Gender-Based Violence in Emergencies”. Our Country has long been committed
to promoting a “zero-tolerance” policy on sexual abuse and exploitation committed
by military and civilian personnel deployed in UN peacekeeping missions. The
promotion of the role of women in conflict prevention and mediation is also
fundamental: Italy has always been in the forefront in this area, especially
through the Mediterranean Women Mediator Network. Italy is also among the
Countries most involved in preventing and combating sexual exploitation, abuse
and harassment in the field of humanitarian aid, as indicated in the Whistler
Declaration of the G7 Development Ministers for the UN Secretary-General’s
“Circle of Leadership” and undertaking the commitments announced at the
“Safeguarding Summit” held in London on 18 October.