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

Italy reaffirms its firm commitment to fight all forms of discrimination and violence against women, which continues to be a serious and unacceptable obstacle to the enjoyment of women’s rights and to their full personal fulfillment. This is a priority commitment among the actions of our Country’s foreign policy that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is pursuing both at the diplomatic-negotiation level and in development cooperation. Evidence of this are the numerous international campaigns, such as the campaign for the eradication of female genital mutilation (FGM) and the campaign against early and forced marriages, which have always seen Italy in the front line.

On the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, the Foreign Ministry and its foreign network have expressed their support for the #OrangetheWorld awareness campaign, promoted by UN Women, which in 2019 is focused on the fight against rape, a form of widespread gender violence that is particularly heinous. Indeed, one woman in three in the world has been a victim of rape in her lifetime. The campaign will also be associated with the hashtag #GenerationEquality which, recalling the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Beijing Declaration on Women, invites everyone to take important new steps towards gender equality: a goal that, to date, no country in the world can claim has been achieved.

A closer look – Italy’s commitment to eliminating gender-based violence

Italy is actively involved in promoting the rights of women, girls and little girls in the bilateral relations with other States, in International Organizations and in development cooperation programs, for the full implementation of the sustainable development goal number 5 of the 2030 Agenda. Prevention and the fight against all forms of violence against women is also among the priorities of Italy’s current mandate in the United Nations Human Rights Council (CDU) (2019-2021).

Recently, at the Nairobi Summit for the twenty-fifth anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), Italy announced new commitments in areas that have always been high on its list of priorities, such as the fight against seriously harmful practices, in particular female genital mutilation and early and forced marriages, which involve violations of the integrity of the physical and mental health of women and girls, reduction of maternal mortality and the emancipation of young women in sexual and reproductive health matters. The 2017-2020 national strategic plan on male violence against women, which implements the Istanbul Convention on violence against women and domestic violence, also envisages important commitments to protect women and girls.

Italy also supports international initiatives for the prevention and combating of sexual and gender-based violence in conflict and emergency situations (including the Call to Action on Protection from Gender-Based Violence in Emergencies), and in development cooperation and humanitarian aid (for example, this year’s OECD-DAC recommendation). Italy has long been committed to promoting a zero-tolerance policy against sexual abuse and sexual exploitation committed by military and civilian staff engaged in UN peacekeeping missions.