The European Union Representative Ralph Tarraf and the Mayor of Bethlehem Vera Baboun joined Palestinian youth to light the Nativity Church in orange as part of the EU-campaign ‘’Enough’’. This campaign is organized with Palestinian partners and youth to mark the international day for the elimination of violence against women. In parallel, Al Manarah Square in Ramallah and Ibn Rushd Square in Hebron were also lit in orange to mark the day. This initiative coincides with the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign in Palestine.
One in three women around the world experience violence in their lifetime. In Palestine, women and girls continue to experience various kinds of violence at home and within their society. It is a structural violence including discriminatory laws, traditional practices, and domestic violence. Violence generated by the occupation also promotes and strengthens the patriarchal powers and sustains the cycle of violence against women within the Palestinian domestic sphere.
“Violence against women and girls violates a fundamental human right. It has devastating social, political, and economic implications. It is a cause and a result of gender inequality and gender-based discrimination. The European Union and its Member States have chosen to be at the frontline of fighting gender base violence. All women and girls should have a life free from fear and violence, in the European Union or anywhere in the world”, said the EU Representative, Ralph Tarraf. “Orange symbolizes bright and optimistic future free from violence. Tonight, the Nativity Church glows in orange joining landmarks from across the world including the EU headquarters in Brussels. This sends a message that we all share: Violence against women is not an inevitable or tolerable act. It can and should be stopped. Enough is enough!”
As part of the 2016-2020 EU Gender Action Plan in external relations, the EU continue investing in women and girls whose rights are violated across the world. In Palestine, the EU stands alongside Palestinian women as they work hand in hand with Palestinian men towards a better future. EU-funded projects in Palestine address gender in different contexts and contribute to the fight against gender inequality. The EU supports equal engagement of women in economic development and promotes stronger involvement in governance at local and national levels. This is in addition to a number of human rights and youth actions where gender is a core component.