November 25th – 16 Days of Activism Against GBV
UNFPA in collaboration with the NUEW and other UN Agencies organized this year’s 16 Days Commemoration event which was held under the themes “Unite to End Violence Against Women” & “Unite to a Sustained Peace”. Among the attendees, Mr. Tesfai Gebresalasie, Minister of Land Water & Environment and Ms. Fawzia Hashim, Minister of Justice.
Mrs. Senait Mehari who stood in for Mrs. Tekea Tesfamichael (NUEW President) started off the commemoration event by thanking the health personnel who have been working through the COVID-19 pandemic and by taking a moment to remember those who lost their lives to it. Mrs. Senait highlighted some of the work the Government of the State of Eritrea has mandated NUEW with to deal with issues of women through principled documents such as the National Charter and National Gender Policy and Action Plan which aim to achieve equal opportunity and capability for women, men, girls and boys. Mrs. Senait went on to explain the social, physical, health and psychological effects of harmful traditional practices, stating that if we are to improve prospects for the next generation this society must all contribute to empowering women. Mrs. Senait concluded by acknowledging the different stakeholders’ efforts in establishing committees to raising the level of awareness of the community on the issue of Gender Based Violence, and to actively participating in campaigns against GBV.
Mr. Ohashi (UNFPA Representative) followed by thanking NUEW (National Union of Eritrean Women) for their work towards the advancement of women and girls in Eritrea under the country’s leadership, as well as the work done towards improving the health outcomes and well-being of women and girls alongside the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Labor & Social Welfare. He then went on to highlighting the cycle of events that follow FGM and under-age marriage, and the discrimination of women that is rooted within society. Mr. Ohashi concluded that this is everyone’s responsibility and commended the Government of the State of Eritrea on their hard work ensuring equal opportunities for men and women, girls and boys.
Mr. Ohashi’s speech was followed by Solidarity messages from the NCEW (National Confederation of Eritrean Workers), NUEYS (National Union of Eritrean Youths & Students), UNAIDS, UNDP & UNICEF.
Following this a Classical Live Music Performance by a group of talented young students opening up for the legendary Mrs. Birkti Weldesalassie. They did more than hold their own against her powerful musical show titled “Break the Chain”.
Afterwards an in depth Panel Discussion was held by a group Young Professional Women on “How to get united to end Violence Against Women” leaving us with something to think about as we went into our first break. After the break an informative Two-part Presentation Contest took part between High School Students who were tested in their oratory, knowledge and persuasion to name a few of the criteria. Several poems were also performed by different students which took us to the final event, the results of the contest and rewarding of the contestants.