The European Union and Sharek Youth Forum, in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme and Palestinian civil society organisations, joined Palestinians in Gaza to light Gaza seaport and fishing boats in orange to mark the International Day for Elimination of Violence against Women.
This activity comes under the joint campaign “Together Against Violence”, a combined effort involving 67 national and international partners, including the EU, gathered in solidarity to mark the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence which takes place worldwide each year from 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, until 10 December, Human Rights Day.
Violence against women and girls is a grave violation of human rights. The impact of violence has serious physical, sexual and mental consequences for women and girls. It negatively affects women’s general well-being, health, and prevents women from fully participating in society, while being detrimental to the entire family, the community, and the country at large.
“We are proud of our strong partnership with all international and local organisations taking part in this joint campaign to work together to combat all forms of violence against women and girls.
The European Union and its Member States have chosen to be at the frontline of fighting gender-based violence in support of the national actors, and this year we reiterate our endless support to Palestinian women and girls,” said EU Head of Cooperation Gerhard Krause at the occasion. “In Gaza, women and girls are subject to many forms of violence. Our voices should be louder and stronger to support Palestinian women in building a life free from fear and intimidation”, he added.
At the opening event of the joint campaign, about 100 boats were lit in orange at Gaza seaport, while a music performance gathered over 500 women and men to mark the day. The “orange” boats symbolize a bright and optimistic future of Palestine free of all forms of violence against women and girls.
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.
The last day of the campaign coincides with the Human Rights Day. These occasions are significant in calling for equality, dignity, and freedom for people around the globe. It is also an opportunity to recall the significant role and responsibility different actors bear to achieve the fulfilment of human rights, including those of eliminating violence against women and girls.